Christmas shoppers urged to buy local
CHRISTMAS shoppers are being urged to buy locally this festive period during what is being hinted at as a make-or-break season for high street retailers.
This year has seen the loss of several major high street names across the British Isles.
Chamber of Commerce’s Kay Leslie thinks Guernsey should be proud of its offerings but islanders need to continue to invest in these businesses by buying locally.
‘The need to support local business through on-island spend in all areas is at the forefront of Guernsey Chamber’s mind at all times,’ said Ms Leslie.
‘We know through feedback from our broad range of industry groups, coupled with direct input from a whole spectrum of membership categories, that everything from construction to hospitality, tourism in its broadest sense, retail and finance need to continue to thrive for Guernsey to have a stable and successful future.’
The number of jobs in retail across the British Isles has fallen by more than 100,000 over the past three years, according to the British Retail Consortium.
This year has seen several major brands collapse or undergo major restructuring.
Mothercare is due to close, and chains including Karen Millen, Jack Wills, Bathstore, Patisserie Valerie and Debenhams all went into administration earlier this year. Shoe shop Clarks reported a £75 million loss and M&S saw its profits plummet.
Locally, Beghin’s closed after more than a century of trading.
Several retail experts have warned that some chains will need strong trading results during the festive period to survive into next year.
‘All data and research confirms that on-line shopping is here to stay and will increase substantially so Chamber acknowledges that and is committed to helping to encourage islanders to identify the many benefits around supporting local business.’
However Chamber is mitigating the growth in online retail.
Ms Leslie continued: ‘Through initiatives such as the proposed Shopping Experience project led by Chamber’s Retail Industry Group - and linked to Guernsey Retail Group - and events programmes aimed at highlighting the superb quality of goods and services here, we will be working hard throughout 2020 and beyond to keep at the front of people’s minds the need to buy local. As an island, we should be rightly proud of the standard of food, artisan products, creative goods, engineering, marine services, financial structures and all of the other local businesses which need money spent here to help them to continue in a difficult trading environment.’
The Christmas lights were switched on over the weekend [30/11] officially marking the beginning of the festive season and the late night shopping period.