Marlborough’s heavily-promoted Late Night Shopping events were under-supported by the town’s traders, leading to disappointment for shoppers.
Reporting on the fortunes of Marlborough over the Christmas period to his committee, Chamber of Commerce president Paul Shimell, who owns the Specsavers franchise in High Street, said it was too early to establish Christmas trading figures for the town.
However, the feedback from the shoppers was that not enough traders had kept their doors open on Thursday nights during the run-up to Christmas, despite 30 shops signing up to the initiative.
The news was a particular disappointment for the Chamber of Commerce committee, who had paid hundreds of pounds to advertise the event in the local press and supported the distribution of 5,000 leaflets.
The Late Night Shopping season had also been promoted by a £3,000 Heart Radio advertising campaign – funded by a consortium of shops led by jeweller David Dudley – where listeners were promised the opportunity to Park for Free, Shop ‘Til 8 Every Thursday.
“People knew it was happening,” said Mr Shimell. “More shops needed to be open.”
The Late Night Shopping campaign got off to a good start on Thursday, November 24 when the Christmas lights were switched on. Particularly busy was Father Christmas, who opened his grotto at the Town Hall, above the We Love Marlborough Art Market.
Next year’s Christmas Lights switch-on will be on Thursday, November 29.