18th November 2018
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Shop owner says Lerwick Shopping Week ‘buzz’ has got tills ringing

Town centre representatives were talking up a buzz around Commercial Street, as Lerwick Shopping Week got into full swing.

Shops and businesses in search of the sound of ringing tills and rapid-rising footfall opened their doors wide – although it may be said that might have been as much due to the burst of summer sunshine as the desire to entice the passing trade over the threshold.

Peter Wood held a workshop at High Level Music on Wednesday for Shopping Week with a variety of players and a variety of instruments. Back row (from left): Tabitha Johnson, Jack Wilson, Andy Kain, Peter Wood, Bob English and Lynda Blackwood. Front: Daisy Anderson and Lulu Johnson. Photo: Dave Donaldson

The Camera Centre’s Ben Mullay, a Living Lerwick director, insisted the event had been well worthwhile.

“It’s been excellent. We’ve been busy all week and there have been obvious signs of a steady footfall. The place has been really busy,” he said.

“There’s been a great buzz going around on social networking sites.

“I think if we compare it with last year it’s multiplied again.

“There have been a lot of businesses coming on board, and showing off their businesses in a great light.”

Mr Mullay said he hoped the extra buzz around the town would result in cash registers ringing out throughout the street.

But he added that it might raise awareness of certain shops among people, who – even if they walked on by this week – might return to spend time and money there in the days to come.

“I think it would be fitting if the businesses were rewarded for all the efforts they have put in,” he said.

Helping the process, of course, has been the regular visits from cruise ships, which have spilled out their passengers to spend time in the town centre.

“It all helps,” Mr Mullay added. “I think it’s great to see the town centre buzzing with folk sitting on benches. The street looks brilliant.”

Among the events taking place were:

• Competitions for kids at the Queen’s and Grand hotels.
• As part of the ongoing event, Aurora Jewellery plan to carry out a lucky dip tomorrow in aid of local charity Dogs Against Drugs.
• Loose Ends are today providing a Fair Isle knitting workshop for beginners.
• The Peerie Shop cafe is due to hold a tapas, with cocktails and “mocktails” also on offer – as well as a live music night tonight.
• The Shetland Times Bookshop has been running an I spy competition for children.
• The Camera Centre offered a range of different activities, including Q&A sessions where advice was given on taking better photos.
• Newly-opened Island Larder on Commercial Street plans to hold two chocolate workshops today.
• The LHD shop ran a t-shirt design and print, giving children the chance to make and print their very own design on a t-shirt.
• Klaize and the Hub had live models in the shop window – which may have offered a somewhat startling experience for any unwary onlookers.

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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2 comments

  1. gordon downing

    What shops,all we have now in commercial St are empty shops and charity. How have Kirkwall and Stromness in Orkney managed to maintain busy and thriving main streets while Lerwick is dying on its feet. When cruise liners are in Lerwick the most successful shop on da Street is Aurora, an Orkney business. Before you blame tesco just remember Orkney has lidl, and tesco.

    Reply
  2. Haydn Gear

    I think it’s well known fact that with the advent of internet buying, local businesses have had to bear the brunt of the knock on negative effects. This affects virtually everywhere not just Lerwick. So far, nobody seems to have come up with a way to deal with the problem and it will not have passed notice that in the supermarket stakes Aldi and Lidl are cut throat concerns. Unfortunately, shoppers have the right and tendency to use the cheapest though not necessarily the best available. Maybe, in these times of austerity, it should come as no surprise. The pity is that nobody can escape the damage done. They say ” grin and bear it”. I’m not at all sure that it’s a grinning matter.” Grit your teeth” may be more appropriate.

    Reply

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