Don’t go online... spend your cash in the high street

FESTIVE shoppers are being urged to support independent retailers when the UK marks Small Business Saturday.

Essex Federation of Small Businesses and Colchester Retail Business Association are encouraging people to shop in town centre stores instead of online.

David Miles, federation chairman, said: “Small Business Saturday is a great way to show your support for independent retailers and get out shopping. Traditionally, the first Saturday in December is the biggest retail day of the year, so the challenge is on to shoppers inEssex tomake this the biggest and most successful shopping day ever.

“Independent retailers are the heart of the economy on every high street and town centre throughout Essex and without their innovative product ranges and knowledge, Christmas shopping would soon become a very dreary experience.

“Independent retailers are becoming more innovative and exciting and you can’t beat the shopping experience with them.

Shopping on a computer at your dining room table just isn’t the same.”

This year, the federation has been campaigning to Keep Trade Local. It says research shows money spent in an independent business circulates much further through the local economy than that spent in a large one.

Mr Miles added: “Not only is shopping with independent retailers much more fun, but your money helps to support your local economy and safeguard jobs and create employment in the community.”

Michelle Reynolds, chairman of Colchester Retail Business Association, said: “Smaller shops are supported by us and we would like to see as many new customers as possible, so if p e o p l e can avoid shopping online and help us locally, we would be grateful.”

Comments (25)

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7:05am Sat 7 Dec 13

LeQueen says...

What a lovely idea. Perhaps we could encourage the council to slash fees and increase spaces in the council owned car parks.

That would be the most effective way to get shoppers to return.
What a lovely idea. Perhaps we could encourage the council to slash fees and increase spaces in the council owned car parks. That would be the most effective way to get shoppers to return. LeQueen

8:19am Sat 7 Dec 13

Say It As It Is OK? says...

Its one thing to go into town to browse for Christmas Presents but its another when you know what you want but its not in stock in the shops. They cannot compete with online shopping on availability or on prices.

I wanted a new Camera lens, Only one shop in Colchester, who did not stock it, could get it in about a week, then I would have to collect it. I went home, ordered it online, delivered to my door in Two days and I saved £46,00. Its a no brainer really!
Its one thing to go into town to browse for Christmas Presents but its another when you know what you want but its not in stock in the shops. They cannot compete with online shopping on availability or on prices. I wanted a new Camera lens, Only one shop in Colchester, who did not stock it, could get it in about a week, then I would have to collect it. I went home, ordered it online, delivered to my door in Two days and I saved £46,00. Its a no brainer really! Say It As It Is OK?

11:02am Sat 7 Dec 13

Colonel Kurtz says...

I would if it wasn't such a mission. Get stuck in traffic in this overcrowded town and then pay a fiver to park. Nah... I think I will just switch my pc on instead.

If they want us to return to the high street then at least provide free parking.
I would if it wasn't such a mission. Get stuck in traffic in this overcrowded town and then pay a fiver to park. Nah... I think I will just switch my pc on instead. If they want us to return to the high street then at least provide free parking. Colonel Kurtz

3:54pm Sat 7 Dec 13

Goonerboy says...

Its not the parking charges which is the problem it is the stores themselves. If I had a pound for every time in the last 2 days that I have heard I'm sorry its out of stock...but you can order it on line '' I could pay for my parking 4 times over. Top of the list is Next which stocks nothing for boys between ages 12 and 16. The men's section almost disappears over Christmas to make way for festive cr*p and books on ' how to read your poo!'. and then the shop turns into a jumble sale after Christmas as they try and get rid of all the on line clearance rubbish.
The stores stock too many lines but hold too little stock. End result is that I am in front of my pc on a Saturday afternoon ordering all my gifts.
Rant over ! Merry Christmas
Its not the parking charges which is the problem it is the stores themselves. If I had a pound for every time in the last 2 days that I have heard I'm sorry its out of stock...but you can order it on line '' I could pay for my parking 4 times over. Top of the list is Next which stocks nothing for boys between ages 12 and 16. The men's section almost disappears over Christmas to make way for festive cr*p and books on ' how to read your poo!'. and then the shop turns into a jumble sale after Christmas as they try and get rid of all the on line clearance rubbish. The stores stock too many lines but hold too little stock. End result is that I am in front of my pc on a Saturday afternoon ordering all my gifts. Rant over ! Merry Christmas Goonerboy

5:01pm Sat 7 Dec 13

Reginald47 says...

LeQueen wrote:
What a lovely idea. Perhaps we could encourage the council to slash fees and increase spaces in the council owned car parks. That would be the most effective way to get shoppers to return.
Don't pedal these silly myths - parking in Colchester is cheaper than anywhere unless, of course, you're lazy and use the NCP behind W and G.
[quote][p][bold]LeQueen[/bold] wrote: What a lovely idea. Perhaps we could encourage the council to slash fees and increase spaces in the council owned car parks. That would be the most effective way to get shoppers to return.[/p][/quote]Don't pedal these silly myths - parking in Colchester is cheaper than anywhere unless, of course, you're lazy and use the NCP behind W and G. Reginald47

5:03pm Sat 7 Dec 13

Reginald47 says...

Colonel Kurtz wrote:
I would if it wasn't such a mission. Get stuck in traffic in this overcrowded town and then pay a fiver to park. Nah... I think I will just switch my pc on instead. If they want us to return to the high street then at least provide free parking.
A fiver! What rubbish.£2.50 or £3.50 for 4 hours depending on whether you choose surface or multi-storey. Where are you parking!!
[quote][p][bold]Colonel Kurtz[/bold] wrote: I would if it wasn't such a mission. Get stuck in traffic in this overcrowded town and then pay a fiver to park. Nah... I think I will just switch my pc on instead. If they want us to return to the high street then at least provide free parking.[/p][/quote]A fiver! What rubbish.£2.50 or £3.50 for 4 hours depending on whether you choose surface or multi-storey. Where are you parking!! Reginald47

6:42pm Sat 7 Dec 13

Simon Taylor says...

Normal Saturday with a mix of customers in the shop and orders online.
Normal Saturday with a mix of customers in the shop and orders online. Simon Taylor

6:45pm Sat 7 Dec 13

Simon Taylor says...

It's over-simplistic to suggest that the choice is between either high street or online sales. A lot of our online sales are because customers know we're a real bookshop, and a lot of shop customers have sought us out after seeing our online stock.
It's over-simplistic to suggest that the choice is between either high street or online sales. A lot of our online sales are because customers know we're a real bookshop, and a lot of shop customers have sought us out after seeing our online stock. Simon Taylor

9:03am Sun 8 Dec 13

angryman!!! says...

Agree 2.50 to park for four hours is plenty of time to do shopping and not expensive.
Agree 2.50 to park for four hours is plenty of time to do shopping and not expensive. angryman!!!

3:18pm Sun 8 Dec 13

Misty4 says...

I don't think I'll venture into Colchester for my Christmas shopping this year as it's becoming increasingly difficult to navigate. (When is a bus lane not a bus lane? When it turns from Head Street into High Street! When IS a bus lane a bus lane? When it turns from High Street into Queen Street! How do you get from High Street to Queen Street without using heaps of petrol?) It'll be online for me this year, thanks.
I don't think I'll venture into Colchester for my Christmas shopping this year as it's becoming increasingly difficult to navigate. (When is a bus lane not a bus lane? When it turns from Head Street into High Street! When IS a bus lane a bus lane? When it turns from High Street into Queen Street! How do you get from High Street to Queen Street without using heaps of petrol?) It'll be online for me this year, thanks. Misty4

5:22pm Sun 8 Dec 13

driver4108 says...

bit late for that, tried today,couldnt go up north hill, went round to priory street couldn't find a space went to the car park at the bottom (cant remember the name)couldn't park and then I went home and did all my shopping online, the lot cards and presents, will all arrive in the next day or so and it was cheaper!!
Colchester is very very overpopulated and in a few years no one will go to Colchester town! they want to build new houses as well lol
bit late for that, tried today,couldnt go up north hill, went round to priory street couldn't find a space went to the car park at the bottom (cant remember the name)couldn't park and then I went home and did all my shopping online, the lot cards and presents, will all arrive in the next day or so and it was cheaper!! Colchester is very very overpopulated and in a few years no one will go to Colchester town! they want to build new houses as well lol driver4108

5:24pm Sun 8 Dec 13

driver4108 says...

think Kurtz was just exaggerating a bit with the fiver,get a life all you people saying where do you park and should be 2.50 lol
think Kurtz was just exaggerating a bit with the fiver,get a life all you people saying where do you park and should be 2.50 lol driver4108

7:07pm Sun 8 Dec 13

Justice79 says...

I did 50% of my shopping online the items I needed from town I got yesterday I parked for free outside matalan, walked up through Balkerne Heights went to the 3 shops I needed to had a bit of lunch and was back at the car within the 2 hour limit for the Matalan carpark.

Admittedly the charges to park all day in town are a joke but there is no sensible reason to avoid town all together.
I did 50% of my shopping online the items I needed from town I got yesterday I parked for free outside matalan, walked up through Balkerne Heights went to the 3 shops I needed to had a bit of lunch and was back at the car within the 2 hour limit for the Matalan carpark. Admittedly the charges to park all day in town are a joke but there is no sensible reason to avoid town all together. Justice79

9:49pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Mind your own business says...

Justice79 wrote:
I did 50% of my shopping online the items I needed from town I got yesterday I parked for free outside matalan, walked up through Balkerne Heights went to the 3 shops I needed to had a bit of lunch and was back at the car within the 2 hour limit for the Matalan carpark.

Admittedly the charges to park all day in town are a joke but there is no sensible reason to avoid town all together.
This sad loser parked in matalan car park and walk all the way into town a just to avoid paying for parking what a pathetic man
[quote][p][bold]Justice79[/bold] wrote: I did 50% of my shopping online the items I needed from town I got yesterday I parked for free outside matalan, walked up through Balkerne Heights went to the 3 shops I needed to had a bit of lunch and was back at the car within the 2 hour limit for the Matalan carpark. Admittedly the charges to park all day in town are a joke but there is no sensible reason to avoid town all together.[/p][/quote]This sad loser parked in matalan car park and walk all the way into town a just to avoid paying for parking what a pathetic man Mind your own business

8:20am Tue 10 Dec 13

998dave says...

Reginald47 wrote:
LeQueen wrote: What a lovely idea. Perhaps we could encourage the council to slash fees and increase spaces in the council owned car parks. That would be the most effective way to get shoppers to return.
Don't pedal these silly myths - parking in Colchester is cheaper than anywhere unless, of course, you're lazy and use the NCP behind W and G.
Not quite cheaper than anywhere, parking in Sudbury is still free I believe.
[quote][p][bold]Reginald47[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LeQueen[/bold] wrote: What a lovely idea. Perhaps we could encourage the council to slash fees and increase spaces in the council owned car parks. That would be the most effective way to get shoppers to return.[/p][/quote]Don't pedal these silly myths - parking in Colchester is cheaper than anywhere unless, of course, you're lazy and use the NCP behind W and G.[/p][/quote]Not quite cheaper than anywhere, parking in Sudbury is still free I believe. 998dave

9:57am Tue 10 Dec 13

Misty4 says...

Mind your own business wrote:
Justice79 wrote:
I did 50% of my shopping online the items I needed from town I got yesterday I parked for free outside matalan, walked up through Balkerne Heights went to the 3 shops I needed to had a bit of lunch and was back at the car within the 2 hour limit for the Matalan carpark.

Admittedly the charges to park all day in town are a joke but there is no sensible reason to avoid town all together.
This sad loser parked in matalan car park and walk all the way into town a just to avoid paying for parking what a pathetic man
I think you mean a wise man (or woman). I would do the same.
[quote][p][bold]Mind your own business[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Justice79[/bold] wrote: I did 50% of my shopping online the items I needed from town I got yesterday I parked for free outside matalan, walked up through Balkerne Heights went to the 3 shops I needed to had a bit of lunch and was back at the car within the 2 hour limit for the Matalan carpark. Admittedly the charges to park all day in town are a joke but there is no sensible reason to avoid town all together.[/p][/quote]This sad loser parked in matalan car park and walk all the way into town a just to avoid paying for parking what a pathetic man[/p][/quote]I think you mean a wise man (or woman). I would do the same. Misty4

11:33am Tue 10 Dec 13

driver4108 says...

it does say on the Matalan parking sign,that parking is free for use of Matalan and other shops on the estate so if you are caught its a 75 quid fine expensive!
it does say on the Matalan parking sign,that parking is free for use of Matalan and other shops on the estate so if you are caught its a 75 quid fine expensive! driver4108

12:53pm Tue 10 Dec 13

SAndrewss says...

I suspect that parking isn't really the issue (not that I even think there IS an issue).
Most shops in the town have their own websites where people can order items, even the small independents, those that don't, simply need to move with the times rather than complaining that foot traffic past their window is low.
I suspect that parking isn't really the issue (not that I even think there IS an issue). Most shops in the town have their own websites where people can order items, even the small independents, those that don't, simply need to move with the times rather than complaining that foot traffic past their window is low. SAndrewss

5:57pm Tue 10 Dec 13

TheEqualisers says...

Mind your own business wrote:
Justice79 wrote:
I did 50% of my shopping online the items I needed from town I got yesterday I parked for free outside matalan, walked up through Balkerne Heights went to the 3 shops I needed to had a bit of lunch and was back at the car within the 2 hour limit for the Matalan carpark.

Admittedly the charges to park all day in town are a joke but there is no sensible reason to avoid town all together.
This sad loser parked in matalan car park and walk all the way into town a just to avoid paying for parking what a pathetic man
the saddo had my posts removed....i agree with you, MYOB.
[quote][p][bold]Mind your own business[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Justice79[/bold] wrote: I did 50% of my shopping online the items I needed from town I got yesterday I parked for free outside matalan, walked up through Balkerne Heights went to the 3 shops I needed to had a bit of lunch and was back at the car within the 2 hour limit for the Matalan carpark. Admittedly the charges to park all day in town are a joke but there is no sensible reason to avoid town all together.[/p][/quote]This sad loser parked in matalan car park and walk all the way into town a just to avoid paying for parking what a pathetic man[/p][/quote]the saddo had my posts removed....i agree with you, MYOB. TheEqualisers

6:33pm Tue 10 Dec 13

Simon Taylor says...

SAndrewss wrote:
I suspect that parking isn't really the issue (not that I even think there IS an issue).
Most shops in the town have their own websites where people can order items, even the small independents, those that don't, simply need to move with the times rather than complaining that foot traffic past their window is low.
I certainly think that helping small independents to move with the times and sell online to supplement their income would be more productive than trying to shame their customers with a "use us or lose us" style campaign.
[quote][p][bold]SAndrewss[/bold] wrote: I suspect that parking isn't really the issue (not that I even think there IS an issue). Most shops in the town have their own websites where people can order items, even the small independents, those that don't, simply need to move with the times rather than complaining that foot traffic past their window is low.[/p][/quote]I certainly think that helping small independents to move with the times and sell online to supplement their income would be more productive than trying to shame their customers with a "use us or lose us" style campaign. Simon Taylor

10:20am Wed 11 Dec 13

MrsT1984 says...

I spent all day in the High Street yesterday trying depserately to find what I was looking for because I hate online shopping, but the fact is that all the shops only selll the good stuff online these days because that's where the market is, every shop on the High Street is 'full' of the same old rubbish and sale items that nobody wants!
I spent all day in the High Street yesterday trying depserately to find what I was looking for because I hate online shopping, but the fact is that all the shops only selll the good stuff online these days because that's where the market is, every shop on the High Street is 'full' of the same old rubbish and sale items that nobody wants! MrsT1984

9:51am Thu 12 Dec 13

LeQueen says...

Tried to do a little shopping in the town yesterday after navigating the one way system. Several groups of down and outs congregating together, drinking and smoking. The horrifying thing was seeing girls with babies in buggies standing with these people letting them breath their noxious fumes over the children.

There appears to be a systemic lowering of standards in the town.
Tried to do a little shopping in the town yesterday after navigating the one way system. Several groups of down and outs congregating together, drinking and smoking. The horrifying thing was seeing girls with babies in buggies standing with these people letting them breath their noxious fumes over the children. There appears to be a systemic lowering of standards in the town. LeQueen

10:38am Thu 12 Dec 13

wormshero says...

Mind your own business wrote:
Justice79 wrote:
I did 50% of my shopping online the items I needed from town I got yesterday I parked for free outside matalan, walked up through Balkerne Heights went to the 3 shops I needed to had a bit of lunch and was back at the car within the 2 hour limit for the Matalan carpark.

Admittedly the charges to park all day in town are a joke but there is no sensible reason to avoid town all together.
This sad loser parked in matalan car park and walk all the way into town a just to avoid paying for parking what a pathetic man
I'd dare say it's probably a whole lot quicker when you take into account getting into the town center. Matalan is, after all, at the bottom of north hill, more or less. I'd do the same if I needed to. Good exersize too.
[quote][p][bold]Mind your own business[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Justice79[/bold] wrote: I did 50% of my shopping online the items I needed from town I got yesterday I parked for free outside matalan, walked up through Balkerne Heights went to the 3 shops I needed to had a bit of lunch and was back at the car within the 2 hour limit for the Matalan carpark. Admittedly the charges to park all day in town are a joke but there is no sensible reason to avoid town all together.[/p][/quote]This sad loser parked in matalan car park and walk all the way into town a just to avoid paying for parking what a pathetic man[/p][/quote]I'd dare say it's probably a whole lot quicker when you take into account getting into the town center. Matalan is, after all, at the bottom of north hill, more or less. I'd do the same if I needed to. Good exersize too. wormshero

10:52am Thu 12 Dec 13

SAndrewss says...

So what's the next 'Headline' going to be? SAVE OUR CAR PARKS - USE THEM OR LOSE THEM. (Sorry I couldn't resist ;-) ).
So what's the next 'Headline' going to be? SAVE OUR CAR PARKS - USE THEM OR LOSE THEM. (Sorry I couldn't resist ;-) ). SAndrewss

9:54am Fri 13 Dec 13

kimberly_kg says...

I love having a wander around town, shopping for Christmas. we start at the W&G window... to get into the Christmas spirit. When i lived in the town centre, this was simple. But now I live In Highwoods, so I either drive, or take the bus. Taking a family of 4 into town on the bus cost £11. Not cheep, but it is the better alternative to driving.

Last weekend, I went to 3 car parks and they were all full. I finally queued, for 25 minutes to get a space... counting cars out and in... before we could park. not entertaining. It was also a concern to know where I could or could not drive, unsure of what the new bus lane hours are.

Fees for parking are one thing. Incredibly inconsistent across town. But it is the lack of parking spaces that I feel is the problem.

Years back, Colchester had a street car that went uo East Hill into town. Let's bring it back. Build larger car parks further out of town and provide public transport form these car parks into town.
Other cities, such as Cambridge do this. Seville has a great street car that can take you almost anywhere. Denver Colorado does as well, with beautiful pedestrian streets. In my home town on Canada, Edmonton, there is a rapid trasit that takes you all over the city.

It's time we learn from other models that work and fix our lack of parking, improve public transport. Then the shops will have greater footfall.
I love having a wander around town, shopping for Christmas. we start at the W&G window... to get into the Christmas spirit. When i lived in the town centre, this was simple. But now I live In Highwoods, so I either drive, or take the bus. Taking a family of 4 into town on the bus cost £11. Not cheep, but it is the better alternative to driving. Last weekend, I went to 3 car parks and they were all full. I finally queued, for 25 minutes to get a space... counting cars out and in... before we could park. not entertaining. It was also a concern to know where I could or could not drive, unsure of what the new bus lane hours are. Fees for parking are one thing. Incredibly inconsistent across town. But it is the lack of parking spaces that I feel is the problem. Years back, Colchester had a street car that went uo East Hill into town. Let's bring it back. Build larger car parks further out of town and provide public transport form these car parks into town. Other cities, such as Cambridge do this. Seville has a great street car that can take you almost anywhere. Denver Colorado does as well, with beautiful pedestrian streets. In my home town on Canada, Edmonton, there is a rapid trasit that takes you all over the city. It's time we learn from other models that work and fix our lack of parking, improve public transport. Then the shops will have greater footfall. kimberly_kg

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