‘Community links are key to success’

New Brackley retailers unified group.'110706M-B244
New Brackley retailers unified group.'110706M-B244

A NEW Brackley group is urging retailers to pull together to pull in more customers.

BrackleyShops, set up by Harriet Stapleton of Ptolemy Toys, aims to tempt more people into town with special offers and effective marketing.

“With over 40 retail premises trading in the town most people are surprised at what is on offer,” said Mrs Stapleton.

She said market research carried out last year suggested shops in the town struggle to communicate with their customers, so BrackleyShops has established a website and blog, as well as a Twitter and Facebook presence.

“Listening to customer feedback is of critical importance to the small independent retailer,” said Mrs Stapleton.

BrackleyShops has also delivered 6,500 promotional cards to homes in Brackley and surrounding villages, and an illustrated guide for Brackley shoppers is due to be released later this summer.

BrackleyShops’ first goal is to boost footfall in the town centre, but late-night opening could be on the cards later in the year.

“If it’s promoted well we hope customers will be tempted to come and explore and support their local shops at a time that suits them,” Mrs Stapleton added.

Wendy Chaplin, of Bliss in Market Place, is one of 28 retailers to join the group.

She said: “This is about working together to make the most of what we have. Retailers need to know each other and promote each others’ shops as well as their own.”

Visit www.brackleyshops.co.uk for details.