Shops in Cirencester asked to open on Sundays over Christmas period
ORGANISERS of Cirencester’s Christmas market are calling on local retailers to consider opening their doors on Sundays to boost trade over the Christmas period.
Last winter, the market attracted more than 20,000 visitors on Saturdays during the festive season, which doubled the town’s population, but this success was not matched on Sundays.
Organiser Jaqui Hofman said: “We would love retailers to consider opening on Sundays. We understand this may not be possible for all shops, but we believe it would be hugely beneficial to the town.”
The organisers hope the addition of an ice rink will draw even bigger crowds than last year. They have also planned street entertainment and a treasure trail, which aim to encourage visitors to explore the town and investigate Cirencester’s independent retailers.
President of Cirencester Chamber of Commerce Jonathan Davies said he would urge retailers to consider extending their opening hours. “We want Cirencester to look like a really attractive place for people to come and do their Christmas shopping,” he said.
“As a shop owner, I understand it can be difficult to open seven days a week and the decision has to rest with each individual business, but Christmas is one of our busiest times and I imagine many shops will be keen to take advantage of the crowds.”
Hilary Stewart, director of Jungle Ladies Fashion and Accessories, said she was planning to open on four Sundays in the run-up to Christmas. “It’s quite a lot of extra work, but I am prepared to do it for the town,” she said.
But other retailers said they would not consider opening on Sundays. Dave Roberts, shop assistant at Cirencester’s oldest independent retailer R. Scott & Co, said: “We like to keep our staff happy and it’s too much to ask them to work seven days a week.”
Cirencester Christmas Market will take place from Friday, November 30th until Sunday, December 16th. More than 30 stalls have already been confirmed, with products ranging from clothing and accessories, to toys and gifts, as well as festive food and drink.
The market will run daily from 10am until 6pm and the ice rink will open from midday until 8pm. For more information visit www.christmasincirencester.org.uk.