Thursday, July 5, 2012

News: Shoppers have their say on Rotherham town centre


The results of a shopper's survey have been published at the same time as figures show that footfall in Rotherham town centre rose by around 10% in May, the ninth month in a row that the figure has gone up.

Independent researchers carry out surveys every three years to help the council and their partners understand and evaluate the impact of projects and initiatives implemented in the town centre.

The survey related to a number of topics including the shopping offer, transport and accessibility, shopping habits, spending patterns, the environment and safety and security and captured information from over 600 respondents which also provided valuable information on the profile of the shoppers in town.

Levels of satisfaction with the different aspects of shopping in Rotherham town centre are far higher than in 2009. Over 90% of respondents are satisfied with all aspects of shopping and 35% of people said Rotherham had a good range of shops they liked, compared to just 2% in 2009.

The emphasis on creating a different retail mix by using vitality grants to attract new independent traders was justified with 92% of shoppers happy with the independent shopping offer (up from 42% in 2009).

In addition, 93% of shoppers liked the nationwide shops on offer in the town centre (up from 29% in 2009).

The survey also showed that people were deciding to shop local, with 70% of respondents Rotherham residents and three quarters of respondents visiting Rotherham town centre once a week and the same percentage spending between one and two hours in town.

The Shop Local loyalty card, which currently has over 11,000 subscribers, sees over 100 town centre shops signed up to provide discounts and offers to cardholders.

Value for money was also a theme with over half of respondents (56%) answering that Primark was most important to them and half of respondents (50%) saying new comer B&M Bargains.

More people said that the markets was their main reason for visiting the town centre and 92% were happy with the indoor market. Indeed, one fifth of respondents (21%) said that they would like more market days and longer market days.

Other interesting results showed that only 2% of shoppers said they were dissatisfied with the cost and location of parking compared to 42% on the figure for cost in 2009.

And the majority of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with the general cleanliness of the town and feel "mainly safe and secure" in the town centre. Both figures improved from 2009.

Councillor Gerald Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development, said: "All these figures combined show that Rotherham town centre is on the up and has been for some time. More people are coming into town and those that are coming are finding something that meets their needs, whether that's our excellent markets or the range of shops now on offer in town.

"People have also given their support for the additional work we've been doing to make the town centre more attractive such as the Minster Gardens and the work around the Minster Yard."

Independents Day was celebrated in the markets yesterday to give people more information about the project and what's on offer from independent traders across the town centre.

The Mayor of Rotherham, Councillor Dave Pickering is pictured joining the Shop Local scheme.

Rotherham town centre website

Images: RMBC


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