VISITORS to Henley Royal Regatta are being given free postcards to encourage them to shop in the town
VISITORS to Henley Royal Regatta are being given free postcards to encourage them to shop in the town and to return.
The 5,000 A5 cards show images of nine independent retailers with their details printed on the reverse.
Students employed by the Henley Partnership will hand them out at the station and Henley Bridge. They will do the same at next week’s Henley Festival and the Rewind and literary festivals.
The initiative is the brainchild of Gillian Nahum, who runs Boatique in Hart Street and Henley Sales and Charter, with support from the partnership.
Ms Nahum said: “The postcard has photos and details of many of our most attractive independent stores, which we hope will entice people to come into town.
“It’s free and they can send it on to friends to spread the word. We hope they will take it away with them too as a reminder to come back at another time of year, when they have more time to shop and enjoy all the other things Henley has to offer.”
The postcards were printed by Higgs Group, publisher of the Henley Standard, whose offices are among those pictured on the postcard.
The other businesses are Boatique, White Gdn florists, Dashwood Boat Club and Indian Garden Company, all in Hart Street, Haringtons hairdressers in Thames Side, Laurence Menswear and Studio 35 in Duke Street and skateboard shop Yeuk in Friday Street.
Julie Perigo, who chairs the partnership, said: “Tens of thousands of visitors flock to Henley for the regatta and festivals.
“Unfortunately, this does not always translate into increased trade for our retailers as visitors do not always have the time or inclination to come across the bridge while they are here.”
She said the businesses came together and agreed that something tangible was needed to give to visitors reminding them to return.
“The postcards are pretty enough to keep and if people don’t have time to go shopping while at the regatta or a festival it is something to take away and remind you to come back,” she said.
Annette March, owner of White Gdn, said: “It is a good scheme to help boost the local economy as it promotes every kind of independent shop in Henley.
“It is all about telling people who are coming for the day where they can find a flower shop, or a clothes shop — it’s kind of like a map.”
Laurence Morris, owner of Laurence Menswear, said: “It is a great idea having a postcard with my brand on it that can be sent anywhere in the world. Everyone I’ve given them to thinks it is great.”
Steve Terry, owner of Yeuk said: “It is nice to be involved with projects like this.
“There are not many signs pointing to the shops in Friday Street so it is good to get a bit more notoriety. I have already noticed that we are having a lot of American crews in who recognise the brands and are making purchases.”
Richard Cross, managing director of Dashwood Boat Club, said: “We want as many people as possible to realise what a great shopping experience we have in Henley.
“It’s tragic when you look around town and see the empty premises and if we are not careful and don’t work together we won’t have any shops.”
Susie Ouston, salon manager at Haringtons, said: “The postcard is a great device for showcasing independent retailers in Henley and promoting a wide range of quality products and services.
“This is the perfect week for coming into the salon as you can enjoy a fantastic view of the regatta and a glass of bucks fizz.”
Antony Reineke, director of Studio 35, said: “I’m not really sure if it will drum up business but we won’t know until we try and I am happy to be a part of something which aims to improve the town.”
Bernadette O’Farrell, director of the Indian Garden Company, said: “I don’t have a shop front as such. I have a website and a showroom and people don’t necessarily see us so it is a good way of promoting our business.”
Neil Ratcliffe, managing director of Higgs Group, said: “We like to get behind any initiatives which support businesses in the town.”