"Wake up Banbury and support town centre shops before it's too late!' - traders urge buyers to put internet shopping on the back burner

Banbury’s town centre traders are urging shoppers to put internet shopping on the back burner and return to the town centre for a ‘real-life’ buying experience.

By Roseanne Edwards
Thursday, 19th May 2022, 9:39 am
Updated Thursday, 19th May 2022, 9:50 am
Barry Whitehouse, artist, tutor and proprietor of The Artery in Church Lane, Banbury
Barry Whitehouse, artist, tutor and proprietor of The Artery in Church Lane, Banbury

Many independent retailers are suffering from the loss of footfall in the town. Some even face being unable to pay their staff. And the situation is frustrating to them as they feel the historic Banbury town centre has so much to offer.

Barry Whitehouse, owner at art shop, The Artery, said: "We have just had one of our worst weeks since the previous recession. Total takings for the week didn't even cover the wages of the staff.

"Loss of footfall and empty streets make creating a sale or greeting a customer impossible. There is nobody around,” he said.

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"Online sales have fallen sharply as everyone has one eye on their energy bills to see what money is left and there is suddenly a drop in enquiries for shop items and our (art) classes.

"Personally, the rising fuel cost and town centre parking charges are costing me £10 a day before I even open the front door. I am really worried.

"My savings have gone and I have nothing left to keep the business afloat without sales and footfall. I will not survive many more weeks like this."

Mr Whitehouse said other businesses were in the same boat.

He said it is important for residents of the town and Banbury area to support their town centre and local independents, realising that where they choose to spend their money is very important.

“We need to encourage visitors to the town rather than give them reasons to stay away,” he said. “Shoppers must support real-life shops that help strengthen the local economy rather than shopping online.”

Mr Whitehouse said the Old Town traders were planning a special party for the Platinum Jubilee weekend where independent businesses are taking the town back to the 1950s with vintage window displays, live singing, balloon modelling and more.

Banbury ‘old town’ has its own Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/banburyoldtown/ where the attractions of this historic part of Banbury town centre are featured. The page highlights events in the area, news and offers made by the various traders in these streets.