Last week we launched our Love Your High Street campaign to help out Lytham and St Annes independent small retailers.
Many of our small retailers face rising business rates and rents, while high parking charges, poor infrastructure and the loss of vital banking services have added to their woes.
Love Your High Street is brought to you throughout our Lancashire titles and we want to focus on the best Lytham and St Annes can offer.
Everyone enjoys the convenience of using the internet to meet their shopping needs. But, as consumer spend starts rising in the run up to Christmas, we are encouraging all readers to make a conscious decision to also shop locally and spend some time and money with the shops, small businesses and independent traders who ensure our communities remain vibrant places to live.
Between now and the end of the year we are helping to spread the word by supporting the local initiatives and great independent retailers we have on our patches in a series of regular features.
Martine Lawson owns Boutique clothes shop on Orchard Road and says her business is doing well thanks to her returning customers.
She said: “The locals are very good, I love when my women come in and say ‘you’re shop is like a sweetie shop’ because it is great to get feedback like that. I have been here for seven years now and it has taken a long time to build up what I have.
“I think local shops offer a more one-to-one experience for people rather than just masses of clothes that you get in mainstream shops. The clothes I offer are reasonably unique and that is something else you wont get in the big shops.
Martine added: “A popular misconception is if you buy from local independent shops that the prices will be super expensive when it is far from the truth.
“Also I have some women coming in three times a week sometimes because they may not buy something everytime but it is great to have somewhere where they don’t feel uncomfortable in returning a few times.
“I do believe that once you get the local people coming into the local stores they are likely to come back.
She also believes that parking can be a problem for shoppers in the town. She said; “The parking can put a lot of them off shopping in the town and the traffic wardens are like clockwork as well.
“Apart from that and I can no longer put on A-board on the main street to attract shoppers, I’d love to be here for another 30 years.”
Julie Moores owns Lily The Pink clothes store on St Anne’s Road West and said : “St Annes is different compared to Lytham, as there is a lot less independent stories but there are a lot of local people who do enjoy shopping in the town. I hope more individuals will take a chance in St Annes and open up a store as we should all be supporting out local stores. If you don’t use them they will disappear as they aren’t backed by multimillionaires.”
Julie also said she will love to own one of the most prominent empty shops in St Annes, the former RJ Taylor department store which closed down in 2015.
She said: “It would be a dream to open up there and I think it would work very well with having lots of different shops inside, but it would be a lot to take on financially by yourself.”