Light night opening for Christmas

MANY Portishead shops have vowed to extend their opening hours in an attempt to compete with out of town shopping malls this Christmas.

The town’s Chamber of Commerce has launched an initiative to encourage people to shop locally and is producing an informative leaflet highlighting the shops and services available to residents, right on their doorstep.

Committee members have also been talking to retailers about staying open longer.

For a trial period throughout December many of the shops in High Street will stay open late on Thursdays as well as opening on Sundays and some say if trade is good they will continue to do so in the New Year.

Finance manager Tim Baxter who lives in the Village Quarter said: “It’s all very well for local independent retailers to tell us ‘use us or lose us’, but actually if you work out of town and don’t return until 6pm and either work or play sport on Saturdays, using the small shops can be quite difficult. However, if the stores are willing to open longer hours, I, like many members of the community would be only too pleased to shop locally.”

Portishead Chamber of Commerce president Tony Walmsley said: “The chamber is committed to encouraging people who live in the town to support their local businesses and have been investigating ways to do this. The leaflets and late light opening are the first of a number of initiatives planned.”

New independent shops like 7dials near to Waitrose and national stores like New Look and Dreams, based in Old Mill Road, are already operating seven days a week.