ATCM to support Christmas Shopping Crawl campaign
The Association of Town Centre Management is to announce a package of support today for the 392 towns that failed to win Portas Pilot cash.
The "Town Team Partners", each backed by their local MPs, will be encouraged to deliver projects that increase footfall, consumer engagement, and have a positive impact on the local economy. One of the key initiatives being proposed is a "Christmas Shopping Crawls", the brain-child of retail expert Clare Rayner.
Rayner said: "The Independent Christmas campaign will run for the 6 weeks prior to Christmas day, from 12 November 2012. Consumers will be encouraged to spend a proportion of their Christmas budgets - be that on gift and food shopping, partying or pampering - with local, independent businesses. The campaign will be inclusive of all those who serve consumers – so bars, restaurants and salons as well as traditional shops."
The campaign will call on retailers, town centre managers and town team partners, to work together to create "Christmas Shopping Crawls". While intended to be fun events with shoppers being given the chance to win a prize for completing a crawl, The ATCM said the shopping crawls will also help address the lack of footfall on UK high streets.
Martin Blackwell, chief executive of ATCM said: "This is a great initiative for town centres to get involved in, to create a buzz and drive footfall. It provides a real incentive for shoppers to come into town and visit retailers. Retailers taking part in the initiative should see increased custom over the Christmas period, which will hopefully lead to repeat business. ATCM has invited Town Centre Managers to take part and get their town involved to help independent retailers over this crucial period."
Rayner added: "Christmas is the perfect opportunity to give independent businesses a real boost in sales; already many achieve over 30% of their annual sales in the 6 weeks before Christmas. Increasing sales during what is already a peak period could make a significant difference to their bottom line. They have the opportunity to introduce new customers to their product ranges, to give them a sample of their services, or just to increase consumer awareness of their existence.
"The first step in re-engaging disenchanted consumers with the high street is to give them a good reason to visit; the next step is for the businesses trading there to showcase what customers have been missing out on! Christmas Shopping Crawls, if well implemented, can deliver exactly that."
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