Shoppers staying local as UK trips off cards

WITH OFF-ISLAND Christmas shopping trips not an option this year, islanders have really embraced shopping local, retailers have said.

(Picture By Peter Frankland, 28938691)
(Picture By Peter Frankland, 28938691)

When Guernsey emerged from lockdown towards the end of May, the Guernsey Together spirit was very clear.

Local retailers said that has seemed to continue into the cooler months and in the run-up to Christmas.

For Superdry shop manager Marc Maubec, the community’s commitment to protecting itself from the virus has meant many retailers are in a fortunate position.

‘We have probably missed a few of the tourists and cruise ship passengers that we would normally see in the summer, but regardless, we have had a good year so far,’ he said.

With Father Christmas turning on the lights on Saturday, he said it was a good reminder of how quickly Christmas is sneaking up on us.

‘Having Town look nice with all the lights makes it a more enjoyable experience to support local businesses as well.

‘It encourages people to come in, browse a few shops and maybe stay for a coffee or meal.’

Katy Holmes, manager of clothing shop Yours, also noticed how supportive islanders had been of local trade since lockdown.

‘We’ll be opening for late-night shopping,’ she said.

‘It’s something we love because it’s always a jolly and positive time with lots of customers.’

She believed retailers had been making more of an effort with promotions and raising the profile of their stores since lockdown to encourage people back into Town.

Someone who is passionate about good customer service is Vaughan Davies from Vinyl Vaughan.

‘We’re lucky because we have a very unique trade here in Guernsey, but customer service is so important,’ he said.

‘Everyone that comes in is greeted with a smile and conversation, it’s so important to do that at the very least because it translates to sales and repeat customers.’

Having been involved in local retail since 1976, he has seen Town change a lot.

‘Shopping habits change, too, so it’s crucial that shop owners move with the times and make it as easy and enjoyable as possible for people to come into their shop, rather than just go online.’

Vinyl Vaughan has been opening on Sundays and will be open for late-night shopping. The store has also been celebrating local talent with live music on the weekends and week nights to heighten customer experience.

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