Traders in Ilkeston say they are “fighting back” from high street closures and urging residents to support the Advertiser’s ‘shop local’ campaign this festive season.
Despite shops shutting, traders remain positive this Christmas will be a bumper year for the town, especially if residents spend their cash locally. The Advertiser is now challenging people to get ALL their festive essentials from town – and our reporters will be doing exactly that later this week to prove just how easy it is.
David Vipond, owner of event planning and fancy dress shop Dyl and Co, said: “Any campaign to encourage people to shop in Ilkeston is fully welcomed by the traders.
“We are still here, we are fighting back, we are expanding our businesses and we have a great deal of pride in Ilkeston. This town is fantastic and people will be surprised that it’s all here – and there are some great deals to be had too.”
Sandra Lee, owner of bespoke gifts and furnishings store Harpur and Finch, said: “I had terrific Christmas takings last year and I am expecting this year to be even bigger.
“I aim to go above and beyond on customer service and offer unique products. Because of this I am lucky to have a very loyal customer base.
“But that’s what people will find when they visit the independent retailers in town: first rate customer service and bespoke, local products which online retailers and big retail parks just cannot match.”
She added: “Ilkeston seems to have earned itself a bad reputation with shoppers in recent times. But there is so much to offer here, and if people don’t make the most of it they really will lose it for good.”
Erewash Borough Council is also joining the campaign to encourage and have made all the town’s car parks free over the festive season.
Cllr Barbara Harrison said: “The extension of our annual free Christmas parking scheme to cover the whole of December is a major investment by the council and a clear demonstration of our commitment to supporting the business community and local residents.
“We have excellent markets and shops in Ilkeston so let’s all take advantage of ‘FREEcember’, do our Christmas shopping locally and support our borough.”
The free parking officially ends on January 3, 2015.
Richard Camm, owner of Urban Air BMX, said: “We are set for a great Christmas this year.
“The thing with shopping locally is that you can trust it. You can see the retailers face-to-face and if things do go wrong, they will sort it out because reputation is everything for businesses like us.
“That’s not the case with the retail giants, though.”