‘Use us or risk losing us’ warn town centre traders

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THE Journal is urging all readers to do their bit to help Grantham’s numerous High Street stores by supporting late night shopping on December 15 and 22.

Grantham Business Club has contacted retailers throughout the town asking them to sign up for late night shopping, with shops staying open until at least 7pm and in some cases beyond 9pm.

The project was started by the owner of Empire Designerwear in St Peter’s Hill, Vinod Chadda.

Mr Chadda said: “It will be great for people to come and see the town is alive and kicking.

“The businesses in Grantham offer great value for money and a variety of good services, and with free parking there is every reason for people to come into town.”

Parking at council car parks such as Welham Street and Greenwoods Row is free after 6pm.

Bijal Ladva, chairman of Grantham Business Club, hopes this year’s late night shopping will be the most successful yet as businesses are working together.

He said: “For the past few years the shops in Grantham have been disjointed as regards the opportunity to work together and all open on the same late nights in the run up to Christmas.

“The advantages are clear, that if all the shops are open at the same time, and if it is well advertised, then customers are more likely to stay after work, or come into town specifically to shop.”

Most of the shops which have signed up for late night shopping are displaying special Grantham is Great posters in their window.

John Cussell of John Cussell Jewellers in Westgate will be keeping his shop open.

He said: “It’s about supporting local businesses. If everyone shops outside the town there will be no shops left on the High Street.

“So you either use it or lose it.”

Dean Phillips of Rymans in Grantham hopes the late night shopping will bring people out who might otherwise buy all their gifts online.

He said: “A lot of people are internet shopping but we need to bring trade back to the Grantham area to help the High Street.”

John Burnett of Westgate Gallery in Westgate said shopping locally offers customers far more.

He added: “It’s about a sense of community and keeping the town alive for generations to come.

“Hopefully this will help regenerate the town and keep local traders in business.”