Shops target new customers

Feb 09, 2009

 

Maysons, the men’s and ladies’ designer and fashion menswear shop is expanding into the premises, being left by long-established Clayton’s.
 
Paul Panaysis, one of the founders of the family-owned small group of fashion outlets, said: “We will have more designer menswear up front and more women’s wear at the back with brands that appeal to everyone and some new ones. We are moving with what our customers want, watching the national patterns, stocking the brands which people are prepared to pay for.”
 
He said that Bedford had a powerful retail offer. “It is not good people knocking the town and being negative. We regularly find people coming to us from Milton Keynes, or when they have been to Milton Keynes for the day and can’t find the real range of individual choice offered here.”
 
Walberry’s has opened a second outlet in the Arcade and Neil Primett, manager of boutique Planet, said its new website is bringing new customers into the shop from as far away as 50 miles. “The women’s brand Ugg is a big draw and the website is a shop window for the everyone – and a good number then come to visit – and when they do they are spending half a day in Bedford.”
 
The decsion of town centre businesses to form a Business Improvement District was paying dividends, said BedfordBID executive director Mo Aswat. The BID represents hundreds of town centre businesses which are competing against neighbouring city shopping centres, out-of-town retail parks and the internet. From a levy paid by all businesses and voluntary contributions, it has £500,000 a year to spend on marketing Bedford and supporting businesses.
 
Mr Aswat (pictured) said: “When we started that was nothing compared to the millions which Milton Keynes spent promoting its shopping centre. But numbers are down there and we are finding people are not paying the petrol and parking prices in Milton Keynes when they come to Bedford more easily and use the park and ride.
 
“People are becoming more aware of fact they have a good choice of chains and independent stores in Bedford – as well as the markets.”

en’s and ladies’ designer and fashion menswear shop is expanding into the premises, being left by long-established Clayton’s.

 
Paul Panaysis, one of the founders of the family-owned small group of fashion outlets, said: “We will have more designer menswear up front and more women’s wear at the back with brands that appeal to everyone and some new ones. We are moving with what our customers want, watching the national patterns, stocking the brands which people are prepared to pay for.”
 
He said that Bedford had a powerful retail offer. “It is not good people knocking the town and being negative. We regularly find people coming to us from Milton Keynes, or when they have been to Milton Keynes for the day and can’t find the real range of individual choice offered here.”
 
Walberry’s has opened a second outlet in the Arcade and Neil Primett, manager of boutique Planet, said its new website is bringing new customers into the shop from as far away as 50 miles. “The women’s brand Ugg is a big draw and the website is a shop window for the everyone – and a good number then come to visit – and when they do they are spending half a day in Bedford.”
 
The decsion of town centre businesses to form a Business Improvement District was paying dividends, said BedfordBID executive director Mo Aswat. The BID represents hundreds of town centre businesses which are competing against neighbouring city shopping centres, out-of-town retail parks and the internet. From a levy paid by all businesses and voluntary contributions, it has £500,000 a year to spend on marketing Bedford and supporting businesses.
 
Mr Aswat (pictured) said: “When we started that was nothing compared to the millions which Milton Keynes spent promoting its shopping centre. But numbers are down there and we are finding people are not paying the petrol and parking prices in Milton Keynes when they come to Bedford more easily and use the park and ride.
 
“People are becoming more aware of fact they have a good choice of chains and independent stores in Bedford – as well as the markets.
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