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Late Night Shopping Returns To Coventry

Christmas comes to Coventry with a bang on Wednesday when late-night shopping starts again in the city.

The majority of city centre stores will stay open late every Wednesday until Christmas and shoppers will be able to use several car parks free of charge in the run-up to the festive period.

The first hour is free in eight shoppers' car parks and free after 6pm in those car parks for Wednesday late night shopping.

The car parks are West Orchards, Barracks, the ground floor of Leigh Mills, Pool Meadow, Belgrade, Bond Street, Queen Victoria Road and Greyfriars East.

Shoppers will also be able to park free of charge on weekdays after 2pm in the Barracks car park - an offer which will run into next year. Sunday parking remains free all year in both the  Barracks and West Orchards Car Parks.

The City Centre Company, which manages and promotes the heart of Coventry, has organised musical entertainment on the fountain bandstand finishing at 8pm.

Late night opening coincides with the launch of a major marketing campaign designed to bring more shoppers into the city and to fight off growing competition from neighbouring towns and cities.

Previous Wednesday shopping evenings have been hailed a success, although they were wound down when Sunday shopping gathered momentum.

Shirley Kent, marketing and communications manager for the City Centre Company, said Wednesday marked the start of a vital trading period for stores.

She said:

"A massive effort has been made this year to give traders a real push into Christmas. We have recruited an agency to market the city and to attract more shoppers than ever before.

"There are more car parking offers this year and we are confident that we will have a successful festive trading period.

“Coventry has a lot to offer in terms of the range of stores available and how easy it is to shop in the city centre.

"Around £800,000 is being spent to make sure that message is heard very loudly around the region.

"Traders have already reported increased custom in the last week or so and that will accelerate past Wednesday."

Paul Haynes, manager of the West Orchards Shopping Centre, said he hoped last Sunday would be the start of an encouraging trend. He said:

"Sunday was very positive and was up on previous years. It is vital that there is a sustained effort to attract people into the city centre to ensure this is the most successful Christmas for many years.

"I am confident it will be and certainly traders need a good run after all the problems of the weather which tends to keep people away."

The West Orchards Christmas lights will be switched on at 7pm on Wednesday by BBC Radio's Malcolm Boyden, star of the Belgrade panto, and there will be music in the centre while the stores are open.

Live entertainment on the fountain bandstand starts at 5pm with the newly-formed City of Coventry Children's Choir.

It is followed by Blue Moves, the City of Coventry Brass Band and, at 7.30pm, the samba band Sambassadors of Groove.
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The Giant Card Company, Coventry

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CWN / Business / A-Z / City Centre Company Coventry / 14 Nov 00

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM