SHOPPING centre bosses are celebrating after the Amy Childs effect helped them cash in over Christmas.

The Eastgate shopping centre in Basildon has seen a surge of shoppers flocking in since Boxing Day and management believes the new Amy Childs pop up shop could be giving them the Essex factor.

Brentwood girl Amy, 22, who found fame in reality show The Only Way is Essex, opened her pop-up boutique in time for the Christmas rush.

Mike Horton, promotions manager at the Eastgate, said: “We have been very busy this weekend. The crowds have kept going since Christmas and the retailers seem to be happy. Everyone knows its been a difficult couple of months for retail but all the signs have been really positive for us.

“We’ve had a new outdoor clothing store, Trespass, open up recently and Amy Childs has brought her boutique to the Eastgate which has proved very popular and has certainly attracted a lot of customers. I was speaking to the management at her store and they certainly seem very pleased with how things are going.

“We have noticed a real pick up in our car park because we have been undergoing a bit of a refurbishment, but we have suspended this for Christmas. We have still got a little bit more to do but we are noticing how more people are using the car park and coming to the Eastgate since we have made our bays bigger and more accessible.”

Amy kicked off the Boxing Day sales at the centre this year and earlier this week excitedly tweeted: “Looking forward to seeing everyone today at Amy Childs Boutique in Basildon.”

Other businesses in the centre have also noticed an improvement this year.

Martin Cousens, owner of the Muscovado coffee shop, said: “Both before and after Christmas has been really busy for us. Our trade has been up about eight per cent on the same time last year, but with these things you never really know why. We won’t know how well all the other retailers have done until figures are released at the end of the month but the centre has certainly been very busy so it’s looking promising.”