AUG 00] WARWICK
DISTRICT COUNCIL NEWS
Leamington's Seven-Day Shopping Experience
The main road through Leamington will be
closed in a series of experiments to see if Sunday shopping will take
off in the town.
While there have been on-off debates for
years about closing The Parade to all traffic, a series of markets and
promotional events will see it shut to traffic for the day.
will allow shoppers the freedom to
wander around the town more easily for one day a week.
Leamington is fighting to retain its position
as regional shopping centre in the light of massive new developments
at Banbury and Solihull, which pose a threat to retailing in the spa
And a series of Sunday events is the latest
marketing plan, which should be boosted with the main shopping centre
joining in - for now at least - to see if seven-day trading will work.
Leamington will aim its advertising at rival
towns that already offer Sunday shopping to tempt people to see the
unusually quiet main road, but also its busy shops.
The farmers markets, which have been held
with varying success at different locations around the town will be
sited along The Parade, once a month on Sundays.
The number of businesses open on a Sunday is
set to double at the end of this month, with the Royal Priors Centre
and Marks and Spencer joining the list from the Bank Holiday weekend.
House of Fraser and Next have recently joined the other 60 shops who
now trade every day.
Ian Coker, Leamington town centre manager
"Business in the town understands that
if Royal Leamington Spa is to be considered as a serious shopping
destination we need to offer our customers Sunday shopping.
"We are fortunate that the town has an
increasingly serious shopping offer on Sundays and is therefore able
to offer customers the Fashionable Experience seven days of the
A promotional campaign gets underway this
week with leaflets, newspaper and banner advertising being produced to
highlight the slogan of: The Fashionable Sunday Experience.
Mr Coker said:
"The campaign focuses on the fact that a
visit to Royal Leamington Spa is about the Fashionable Experience
“The fine buildings, delicious food,
splendid parks and award winning Royal Pump Rooms are important
draws which complement the best quality independent shopping in the
"We are planning to advertise in
Solihull, Banbury, Stratford and Coventry, all of whom operate
Sunday shopping. What we have to offer is I believe much more
appealing to those people who are looking for more than just a trip
to the shops.
“Sunday shopping will be made all the more
enjoyable for visitors by the closure of The Parade to traffic
allowing the introduction of the popular Warwickshire's Farmers
Markets on the fourth Sunday in each month during August, September
“We believe The Parade location, alongside
Sunday shopping, will prove not only popular with the customers but
profitable for farmers.”
Gerry McManus of Royal Priors Shopping Centre
"We will look at the success of Sundays
over the first few weeks of this new campaign and make a decision on
what we will do about Sunday trading for the whole of 2001.”
And the efforts to promote Sunday shopping
will continue until the end of the year.
Leamington will have its Continental Market
on Sunday 22 October, its lights switch on to be held on Sunday 19
November, and a Yuletide fair in the final Sundays in the run-up to