Shop Local a success across Gwent

SHOP Local Saturday was a success across Gwent as sales increased as the public came out to support small shops and businesses.

It is hoped the initiative will help boost the local economy and get people back into the centres of Gwent long-term – supporting local businesses and traders instead of national chains. And the foundations were set for the future after a successful day as businesses reaped the rewards of the initiative.

One of them was Newport Market’s Ben’s Bakes, a shop that has been in the city for over 10 years.

Mary Legge, 54, a member of staff, said: “We normally average roughly 400 people on a Saturday but there was around a 30% increase on that and it was a lot busier.”

Tony Turner, 74, who owns AD Turners in the market, was also delighted.

“It was excellent,” he said. “There were plenty of people here and we saw a 10% increase in profit and custom.”

Jon Powell, owner of @thenewsagent which is located at the front of the market, added: “We were busier than usual. There were a lot more people just walking through and our newspaper sales were up by over 30%.”

Abergavenny also took part in the initiative, offering free parking to entice people into the centre and it proved successful. Fiona Beavan, 54, runs the Miserable Cow coffee shop in the centre and is also the vice-chairman of Abergavenny Business Club.

She said: “Town was heaving and it was a really good day which is what all businesses wanted.

“In my shop there are 50 seats and they were all taken for most of the day on Saturday whereas normally there are empty seats.”

John Bannon, 57, of Jaybee Soft Furnishings in Frogmore Street, Abergavenny, said: “We were delighted with our takings on Saturday.”

The initiative also proved successful in Monmouthshire, which was busier than usual on the day.

“I wouldn’t say that there was an excessive amount of people,” said Harry Stoker, owner of Monmouth’s Shirtbox. “But it was a better weekend for us.

“We had around 30 people come in and they all spent which is unusual so I would say that they we were about 30 per cent up.”

Abergavenny and Newport traders are already in the early planning stages of holding future events to make the centre’s busy again.

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