Northampton BID and business owners urge shoppers to return to town centre next week to ‘bring back the buzz’
Shop and pub owners are hoping there will be a ‘retail revival’ as lockdown restrictions ease
Ahead of non-essential retail reopening next week, Northampton’s business owners are pleading with residents to return to the town centre.
On Monday (April 12), shops that have been closed for more than three months will be able to reopen and pubs will be able to welcome customers to outside spaces.
Extra measures have been implemented to encourage social distancing and keep everyone safe and Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID) is also working on behalf of businesses to promote the town centre.
Mark Mullen, operations manager for BID, said: “It feels so good to finally be back. After what has been an incredibly difficult year for all of us, we can’t wait to get that buzz back, hear the tills ringing and see people supporting our traders.
“Shops and businesses have been through the mill, so now is the time to show them a bit of love.
“Their first aim throughout the pandemic was to survive, we now want them to thrive.
“Whether it’s buying new clothes, toys for the kids or enjoying a pint and a bite to eat in a pub beer garden, we want to see everyone enjoying Northampton town centre.
“We’ve made every effort to ensure the town is clean, safe and secure and we’re looking forward to welcoming everyone back.”
Businesses are confident customers will return to the town centre after more than a year of shopping online, with the prospect of browsing stores, trying on clothes and getting a feel for what they are buying a welcome relief from scrolling through websites and clicking social media links.
Even businesses that have remained open through the pandemic are keen to see neighbours back open and more people strolling through the town centre.
Andrew Cruden, of Market Square News, said: “The town centre has obviously been extremely quiet but there’s a real feeling of optimism around now.
“People are ready to get out and support those businesses who have been closed for so long.
“I think there will be a real revival in the retail sector.
“Online shopping has its place but there’s nothing quite like going out to the shops and chatting to people.
“I would say to everyone at home that we’re here, we’re ready, we’re safe and we need you now more than ever.”
Terry Steers, of St Giles Ale House, added: “As a hospitality business, the past year has been a living nightmare but we’ve got through it.
“I’m looking forward to raising a glass with customers and toasting the fact that Northampton is back in business.”
Kerry Reynolds, area director at Metro Bank Northampton, continued: “As an essential service, Metro Bank has remained open throughout the pandemic and we’ve continued to serve both our business and personal customers when they’ve needed us the most.
“The health, safety and wellbeing of our colleagues, customers and community remains our highest priority, and we’ve taken steps to implement social distancing to keep everyone safe.
“We are delighted that Northampton town centre will start to re-open on Monday and we want to see our local businesses thrive.
“We look forward to seeing our neighbours back open on Abington Street very soon.”
Chronicle & Echo would like to join BID and business owners in encouraging residents to support our high street, safely, when restrictions ease on Monday.
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