Late night shopping scheme in town centre 'successful' says Doncaster retailer

Late night shopping has provided a boost for in the run up to Christmas, says a well-known town centre retailer.

Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, 4:45 pm

But the later shopping hours to take advantage of the free parking in the evenings has met a mixed reaction from businesses.

Doncaster town centre retailers have been opening later for much of December, with another few nights remaining before the end of this year’s Christmas shopping.

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Michelle and Richard Smith, pictured at The Shoe Room, Priory Walk, Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP-09-10-18-TheShoeRoom-3

Shops including Primark have been among those staying open later, as well as a number of independent retailers in both the town centre and the Frenchgate Centre.

Michelle Smith, who runs Shoe Room shoe shop with husband Richard, on Priory Walk, said they had been opening until the evening on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Friday – and Wednesdays and Thursdays had been busy.

She said: “We have done well on Wednesdays and Thursdays, so it has certainly been worth doing. I think it’s been successful. I think we’re 10 per cent up on last December.”

Carl Bradley, who runs the Bradley Knipe menswear shop on High Street, said it had been a quiet period of trading overall, but people had been using the late night shopping over the last couple of weeks.

He said: “There have certainly been people about. I’d urge people to use it. We’re open until 6.30 or 7pm on some nights, and I’d urge people to come down.”

Tammy Freer, who runs the Artisan Craft, Gift and Foods Emporium in the Frenchgate Centre, said they had been staying open until 6pm rather than 5pm, and would stay open until 8pm if it was busy, but had found things quiet after 6pm.

She said they had been opening earlier too, at 9am instead of 10am, and that had been successful.

"We will do extra hours if there are people about, but if not we’ve been closing at 6pm.” she said.

Chappell Drive car park has free parking all day every Saturday in December for town centre visitors.

Doncaster Council is also offering free parking every day after 2pm at the Markets Car Park, St George’s Car Park and Colonnades Underground Car Park right through to Friday January 3 2020.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.