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Bury Free Press campaign: Take a moment to think about how you can support our high streets

The High Street. It’s a brand in itself and it’s where you probably bought your first LP, that expensive pair of shoes you didn’t really need or that amazing cream cake which you really shouldn’t have...

But if you believe all the pundits and merchants of doom, our shops had a poor year in 2018. Worse than that, some headlines scream that the writing is on the wall.

Parking in St Johns Street in Bury St Edmunds (7034867)
Parking in St Johns Street in Bury St Edmunds (7034867)

So today, we are launching a campaign to champion the cause of our local traders and let you know why spending your hard-earned cash locally is of such a great benefit to where you live.

Our campaign is called Love Local and we’ll be telling you how your pound works in the local market, why online shopping has its limitations and introduce you to some of Bury St Edmunds’ finer brands and independent traders who are battling in today’s economic climate.

You’ll start seeing our Love Local stickers and merchandise around the centre of town and we will invite readers to let us know where local purchases or local shop service has been of a really high standard – and then share those good stories with readers.

So before you go on that search engine and look for something for a birthday, anniversary or just to plonk in the fridge for the weekend, think about the benefits of shopping locally:

love local (7034862)
love local (7034862)

> Spending money locally helps to secure local jobs;

> You will improve the local economy by using local shops;

> You can expect great customer service from people who value your business;

> You can start to build long-lasting relationships with shop owners and their staff;

> Importantly, you can touch and feel the product and make sure you have the correct fit with clothes or shoes;

> You can give local shop owners and their staff valuable feedback on products they stock - and more importantly the things you would like them to stock.

In February, the British Retail Consortium reported that the number of shoppers visiting stores fell for the 15th month in a row to a five-year low.

There’s a common misconception that online is quicker - and cheaper. That’s not the case.

We are often bombarded with television adverts for doors and windows and claims that their deals cannot be beaten. But if you check local firms for their prices, you are more

than likely to find the same types of deals locally.

And when you think of Bury St Edmunds, what comes to mind?

The thousands of shoppers and tourists who come to Suffolk’s gem each year will leave with a memory of an historic core surrounded with a host of independent shops - the like of which you will find in Bath, Lincoln and other ‘destination’ cities but they are what make Bury so special and unique.

Think of the shoes and clothes you can find in the likes of Nicola Sexton, Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, Javelin, Gerald Boughton, Six and Trotter and Deane - you’d be hard-pressed to find such quality in one of our larger cities and all these shops are within a stone’s throw of the centre of Bury.

Now think food: Maison Bleue, VC, Gastrono-me, Mings, Suffolk Carver, Baileys 2, 1921, The Northgate, The One Bull, Number 4 Hatter Street or The Lounge – great dining, great service and a great food experience on your doorstep.

And it’s you who has helped to shape that cornucopia of tastes and continues to help these establishments thrive by simply going out and booking a table.

So, help us to help our town centre and support Love Local.