Chamber of commerce gets behind retailers

on 10 February 2016.

late night shopping

Tonwsite went out to get feedback from traders about the late night shopping event held on 17th December. Despite generous promotional support from the Chamber of Commerce the clash with other events in town on the same night led to disappointing numbers. Coming hard on the heels of the Extravaganza there was also a feeling of event fatigue and some suggested that it was perhaps just too close to Christmas.

Nevertheless, there exists strong desire to see more retail focused events in the town. Happily the Chamber of Commerce wants to get behind local businesses and help promote them with a series of initiatives aimed to get tills ringing. Among the ideas put forward was a suggestion that any promotions be tied to existing events including street markets, particularly those where the growing demand for street food can be satisfied. Another was for there to be a Blue Cross shopping day where all retailers would offer, for example a 20% discount on all merchandise in a one-off event.

Chamber of Commerce Chairman, Nigel Perrin is keen for his organisation to work more closely with local retailers and to that end is planning a special retail-focused Chamber of Commerce meeting on 8th April with relevant speakers. He encourages as many retailers as possible to attend the event: 'You don't have to be a member of the Chamber, just come along and pitch your ideas but obviously the more members we have, the stronger we will be.'

The Chamber has also joined Revive and Thrive, an organisation specifically aimed at helping towns to promote themselves. There is clearly real impetus to give Hungerford's retailers the support so vital to the town's future through a series of shopping events. For those who doubt the wisdom of such promotional strategies it ought to be remembered that the Victorian Extravaganza originally started as a promotional event for local business.

If you have any ideas about how retailers can grow and prosper, please attend the Chamber of Commerce meeting on April 8th or write to us here at Townsite with your suggestions.

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