Traders aiming to be jewel in retail crown

South Shore Independents Traders Alliance
South Shore Independents Traders Alliance
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An alliance of 12 businesses from South Shore has launched a campaign to bring back the golden years to a street named after London’s famous jewellers’ haunt.

The independent traders in Bond Street, along with neighbours in Waterloo Road and Lytham Road, launched their “Independents’ Day” campaign on July 4 – the date of the US holiday.

They want to make the area a mecca for shoppers seeking niche stores and rejuvenate the once neglected retail area.

They point to The High Streets Ahead Report 2 compiled by retail experts Conlumino which found that residents in areas with a higher density of small, independent businesses visit their high street more frequently and spend more of their annual retail budget shopping locally (21 per cent versus six per cent elsewhere).

Almost half (46 per cent) of those living close to thriving independent businesses agreed their “local high street is at the heart of their community”.

The survey also showed how loyalty to the high street pays off for local residents as well as small businesses, with flourishing high streets contributing an average of £40,000 to nearby house prices over the past decade.

Susanne Johnson, of Johnson’s Wools and Haberdashery, who has worked to develop the alliance said: “We are lucky in the area to have a fabulous collection of shops that you don’t often see. We have shops for sci-fi collectables, die cast and military model collectables, dolls houses and their contents, toy collectables.

“We have an award winning ice cream shop and cafe, a beauty shop that specialises in hair pieces, a sweetie shop and an indoor play centre that are every kiddie’s dream.

“South Shore was once a village, and still we have all those little shops that tourists and locals alike need all the time.”

She added that Bond Street was renamed from Church Street after its counterpart in London, because it was similar, also having a plethora of jeweller’s shops.

“Many people both in Blackpool and outside remember how the area was the best shopping in town.

“ They remember shoppers dressing up in their Sunday Best to go shopping in the area,” she said.