The third meeting of retailers was held in October – these are informal meetings and this is what was discussed and agreed…at the meeting at Coffee at D’Arcys where 25 attended
Everyone introduced themselves…
Member of the public commented on how well Bridgnorth High Street was actually doing compared to recent trip to France; others commented also that we’re in good shape compared to south-west of England and many other High Streets. Sally Themans (Love Bridgnorth) had just been invited to the Home Office (dept for housing, communities and high streets) for consultation about High Streets and Govt policy and lessons learnt confirmed our vacancy rates etc are beating the national average by a long shot.
Sally Themans re-iterated the four pillars of High Street success that differentiates from buying online and are the key to the success (or survival!) of the High Street….
Community -Things such as community pride, businesses, retailers and residents working together, the park-and-ride and the poppy campaign in the town etc etc
Customer Experience – Retail is a people centred-business…people like to interact and connect when they are shopping. Unique things that people can’t get online. Shops are more accessible and quicker than online.
Environment – Need to make our town as lovely as possible; floral displays, poppies, Christmas lights, bins and litter, public conveniences etc need to be as good as they can!
Digital transformation – Local businesses having a digital presence through websites, social media – possible retailers app/Bridgnorth app? Payment technology, make it easy for people to give you money…
Poppy CampaignEmma and Carrieanne said that this is work in progress. Kirstie Hurst Knight will be distributing poppies w/c 5th Nov. Please any shops who would like Poppies please get in touch. Reminder and agreement that hashtags to be used are #BridgnorthRemembers and #Thankyou100 to ensure that all social media posts and mentions around the town show a consistent campaign.
(Postscript: this was a fantastic effort with so many appreciative comments from the public and Bridgnorth even being featured on BBC Midlands Today. We were delighted to thank Carrieanne Emma and Kirstie with a bottle of Prosecco each kindly donated by Tesco and presented by the Mayor at the post remembrance celebration in Castle Hall on 11 Nov. Also thanks to Bridgnorth Print who printed posters foc)
Christmas late night opening
Jenny Bone (My Little Wedding Shop) and team reported that the Christmas map had been improved from last year and the logo brightened up. 50% of High Street and off High Street retailers signed up with all of Listley Street, Whitburn Street, Central court and Postern Gate opening. Reminder dates are 13th and 20th of December.
Open air film is confirmed for 20th Dec (Postscript: they are to be Elf and The Grinch)
Retailers are invited to make a £5 contribution which will be paid into PayPal account so it is completely traceable. This will be to help finance leaflets, banners, A5 and A4 posters.
Entertainment: volunteers have come forward with 7 acts all booked in consisting of soloists doubles and a three-piece band. Would be really nice to get a brass band – Val from Val’s Beeswax to follow up. Entertainers to be at junctions to draw people down the sidestreets of the High Street.
Jenny Bone is to put together digital inspiration boards (rather like a magazine spread) featuring products which are available on the Bridgnorth High Street. Please email Jenny good images, price and name of the shop and she will be putting this together. They will then be shared on to the Love Bridgnorth Facebook page which will act as the ‘host’ page for the campaign. Please do share as much as possible to make sure these shopping evenings reach the highest footfall possible….Campaign is called Think Bridgnorth this Christmas. Hashtags agreed for all posts and mentions on social media are #BridgnorthChristmas and #LoveBridgnorth
Again as per poppies – repeatedly using same hashtags gains traction for campaigns.
#LoveBridgnorth:Hate plastic campaign
Town councillor Julia Buckley attended to talk about a possible campaign to help reduce the number of plastic bags that are used in the town. She indicated that there may be some funding available to help with this and help provide retailers with alternatives.
(Postscript: This has attracted a lot of media attention with Bridgnorth being on Central News, BBC Inside Out and BBC Radio Shropshire as well as Shropshire Star and BN Journal. Meeting 22 Nov will communicate outcomes to retailers at the next meeting).
Made in Shopshire recipe book
There is a lovely recipe book with great pictures and recipes from local food producers and establishments – is this something that retailers might want to sell in the run-up to Christmas? Sally Themans will have details.
(Postscript: Now in stock at Mike and Sarah’s, Rhoobarb, Bridgnorth flowers and gifts, Living Box, Creative Outlet and Coffee at D’Arcys. Any other stockists please give Sally a shout and she will deliver them to you…they are a good price!)