Fylde coast retailers urge you to shop local this Christmas

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As Blackpool prepares to bounce back, we ask local traders why it's good to hit the high street

As Fylde prepares to bounce back, we ask readers to remember their local shops this Christmas.

If you’ve been shopping online more, then there is plenty to tempt you back on the high street and we want to remind you why it’s good to shop local.

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Blackpool already has Christmas in the air with two festive events designed to create festive cheer and get people shopping and dining out over the season.

Paula Taylor from French White in St AnnesPaula Taylor from French White in St Annes
Paula Taylor from French White in St Annes

John Westhead, director of operations at Blackpool Promotions said “All we want is for the town to have a successful Christmas, for businesses to be able to gain additional revenue after a horrendous 18 months.

Christmas By The Sea was launched last weekend. Mr Westhead said: “This year we were more determined than ever to put on a spectacular show and give families and children the chance to have a great time.”

Festive markets and shopping nights are also being held at Ashton Gardens in St Annes, and Fleetwood.

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Dave Preston, owner of high street app Offigo, which is based in Blackpool said: “It is fantastic that this year an extra promotional push is being made to encourage more people into town and boost trade for local businesses over Christmas.

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“It has been a tough two years on the high street, and plenty of effort has been made to make Christmas extra special this year, so, come and eat, drink and shop locally”.

Here’s what some of our retailers had to say:

French White (St Annes)

“Shopping brings the community together. It’s a talking point when someone asks you where you bought your new top, and they say ‘ooh I’ll go and have a look’. It’s not the same on an Ipad.

It’s so important for mental health. It lifts your mood, especially for older people who like to pop in and talk to people.”

Love Rustik (Fleetwood)

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“We are super excited for the hustle and bustle of Christmas. I love that community feel you get when you shop local. It’s a chance to meet people and it’s a really personal experience. Shopping local helps keep our high street and all those special and unique independent retailers going.”

Dawson’s Art & Craft Emporium (St Annes)

“We think people are trying more to shop local but you’ve got to offer a good product, which is what we are trying to do.

“We mostly stock ranges from small British manufacturers. Much of what we sell is eco-friendly. Even the cards we sell can be planted in the garden, and are fully compostable.

“We’re trying to do our bit, and I know where every product is sourced, whereas if you go on the internet you don’t always know where something comes from.”

Strongs Fruit & Veg (Lytham and Poulton)

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“More people are aware of the issues caused by plastics. As our produce is 90 per cent loose we tend to get the type of customer who wants to do their bit by buying loose products.

“Our website worked so well last year, and a lot of customers are still ordering online.This year people are out and about shopping and enjoying visiting our store to choose their own produce. We’re looking forward to a great Christmas.

Sugar Sugar (Fleetwood)

“Every sale creates a happy dance to a local shopkeeper. That face to face service, that personal touch, receiving expert opinion and even getting the chance to try before you buy. It can be lovely to reminisce and smell the aroma of your childhood favourites.”

Plackitt And Booth (Lytham)

“We feel extremely positive about Christmas 2021.

“We have never had a better selection of books and we’ve never had more signed editions (not on sale from the giant internet retailers!) We have lots of new autobiographies, the new J K Rowling and the latest bestseller from Amanda Owen, not to mention Private Eye and the new Strictly annual.”

Family Puzzle Shop (Online store based in Fleetwood)

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“As a small online business we thrive on providing excellent customer service, which you won’t always get from the ‘heavy weights’ in retail.

“Having locally sourced options online keeps the shoppers in the local area but with the beauty of quick and efficient delivery to their door.

“Anyone in the FY area gets free delivery by using promotion code ‘FY’ when checking out at www.thefamilypuzzleshop.co.uk

Springfields Gift Store (Blackpool Promenade)

“As we are a shop on the Promenade, we do rely on the footfall of tourists which sadly has been impacted due to the pandemic, and as such shopping local is a great way to help small, family run businesses such as ourselves during this difficult time.

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“We work with local schools in Blackpool, and by supporting us, we are able to continue to support them!

“We offer lots of good quality personalised gifts, often cheaper than online. It’s great to buy gifts with an extra personal touch, and to see them in person.”

K Dolls Boutique (Blackpool)

“Small business owners often put everything at stake to make a dream reality. Most have families to feed, a mortgage to pay, old shoes to replace, a roof to fix etc.

“You are building your own community, not making the big companies richer. You are directly bringing happiness into their lives and nothing is better than spreading love and kindness in these times.

Un-Do (Bispham)

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“Shopping local saves on all that transport and packaging so it’s much better for the carbon footprint. You can come in and see what you’re buying.

“We have samples of things to try, and I’m always happy to talk people through any questions about a product. Plus it’s good to shop small rather than always giving money to the big man.

Lingerie Lounge (Blackpool)

“There is an amazing atmosphere in the high street this year and we are very excited, as we didn’t get an opportunity to celebrate last year with Covid.

“ In December we always have bubbles and chocs out at weekends so we hope to see you come in and say hello.

Notariannis Ice Cream (Blackpool Promenade)

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The Christmas markets are a great boost for the towns economy encouraging both tourists and locals to get out and about on the prom.

Although it’s a bit away from our shop it has played a part in extending Blackpool’s season and this is the first time we have ever extended our season into the winter months.

“We are open Friday Saturday and Sunday 10am-7pm until 12th December.

Lily the Pink (St Annes)

“If people don’t shop local then we won’t have anywhere to shop. It’ll just be big supermarkets left. It’s been really busy so we are hopeful for a good Christmas.”