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Great News for Christmas Shoppers in Gwynedd!

Great News for Christmas Shoppers in Gwynedd!

Santa's coming early this year thanks to Gwynedd Council. As part of their recession-busting initiative the Council are encouraging residents to recognize the benefits of shopping locally. By way of an incentive to get this message across, there will be FREE PARKING in Gwynedd Council Car Parks from the 12th to the 27th of December this year.

Behind this generous offer is a firm commitment to the principle that “local is best”, for both consumers and producers. Not only will festive shoppers be given the opportunity to buy quality and often locally sourced goods, but they will be providing a much needed boost to the regional economy. Increasingly, against a background of tightened belts and economic hardship, it is thought important to support local businesses. This not only helps the retail sector but gives the consumer the chance to get excellent value for money.

Now, when consumers are increasingly aware of sustainability issues and the importance of reducing their carbon footprints, there’s never been a better time to “think globally and act locally” by exploring the wide range of goods and products available in the local independent retail sector. It’s the perfect way to have the best possible Christmas at the most cost-effective price. Shoppers don’t have to travel miles, be stuck in traffic jams and fight the crowds when everything they need for a relatively stress-free festive season is already on their doorstep.

No better example can be found of this than in Porthmadog where this year an extra special effort is being made with the local Chamber of Trade working together to give the town a festive makeover. Chairman Nigel Hughes, proprietor of a photographic shop on the High Street, says: “In 2011 we are making a huge extra effort to attract shoppers over the Christmas period. We’ve dressed the centre of town with seasonally decorated trees and we had Santa in his grotto in Tremadog’s Market Hall on December 10th. We especially want people to come and see us this year and any initiative that helps us to achieve this can only be welcomed.”

In Bangor, So Chic, retailers of elegant designer clothing, accessories and jewellery, and newly crowned winners of the Welsh National Award for Best Occasion Wear, are right behind the Council initiative. Proprietor Carys Davies says: “Whether our customers are looking for an ideal gift or a special outfit for the office Christmas party, they’re sure to find the perfect fit here at So Chic. We’re really pleased that Gwynedd Council are making it easier for shoppers to come into town and see what High Street retailers such as ourselves have to offer.”

Kate Jones, Centre Manager of Bangor’s Deiniol Shopping Centre says: “Now, more than ever before, we are looking for ways to improve the retail offer* We pride ourselves here at the Deiniol Centre on offering a superb choice of shops with great staff who care about what the customer really wants. Anything that helps us get this messa'e across can only be of great benefit.”

The facts speak for themselves. Buying local boosts the economy. It creates local jobs and local wages. Local business owners invest their owj finance in the community, and have a natural interest in providing the best ranges of products and services that their customers really want. Whilst the range of goods in one small shop may not be able to compete with a giant store, a look up and down the High Street confirms that the level of choice and quality on offer is superb. Another factor that cannot be reduced to pounds and pence is the feeling of being a valued shopper, who is treated well by staff who understand their customers’ needs and are happy to go the extra mile for them.

The Council are hoping that by taking advantage of their free parking offer, more and more people will be shopping locally this year. The shoppers, they believe, will discover shops where the staff genuinely care about them and the produce that they buy; the places where they’ll get a good choice and value for money. The ultimate Yuletide wish is for folk to find the perfect gifts, have the tastiest Christmas Dinner, buy the most festive trimmings and create a truly memorable and enjoyable occasion.