Thursday, 14 December 2017

Residents urged to take advantage of late-night shopping

ELEVEN businesses will take part in Goring’s first late-night shopping event.

ELEVEN businesses will take part in Goring’s first late-night shopping event.

On Thursday, shops, cafés and other traders in High Street will stay open until at least 7.30pm.

If the evening is a success, it is hoped that late opening will become a weekly fixture.

Taking part are gift shop Inspiration, Swift Ink printers, the Village Café, Napper’s Fine Foods, Mountain Mania Cycles and hair salon Albert Fields, the Goring Veterinary Centre, Mary S Interiors, art gallery Art@Goring and estate agents Warmingham and Davis Tate.

The village pubs — John Barleycorn, Miller of Mansfield and Catherine Wheel — will have offers, as will the Swan in Streatley.

Each business is offering free snacks and drinks and people who visit all 15 will be entered into a draw with prizes including a bicycle helmet, haircut, pet vaccination and gift vouchers.

The evening has been organised by the Goring Gap Business Network.

Fiona Strange, who owns Goring Veterinary Centre and is a member of the network, came up with the idea after customers asked her to offer late-night appointments. She teamed up with Dawn Roberts, who runs the network, to ask other businesses to become involved.

Mrs Strange said: “We spoke to various shops to get a ‘show of hands’ and it just took off from there.

“There was a real sense of momentum — once we had a few core businesses on board, it grew really quickly because everyone else wanted to get involved.

“A lot of people who live in the village are commuters, which is why there’s a call for this sort of thing.

“People pay a lot of money to live in Goring but if they’re only here in the evenings then the shops are shut to them most of the time. They want to shop late at night and we want our high street to be as well-used as possible, so it really makes sense.

“Several of the businesses have agreed to stick with it until Christmas and see what the footfall is like.

“We hope it will help keep our high street alive by bringing in new customers who haven’t had time to visit their local shops before.

“There will be less traffic and more parking places, so it will be a much nicer environment for shopping than during the day.”

Over the next few weeks, the network will contact more local businesses and encourage them to take part.

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