Shoppers give town centre another boost
Published Wednesday 4th July 12
Shoppers are giving the town centre a big thumbs up with more people heading into town and higher levels of satisfaction among those who do make the journey into Rotherham.
The latest figures show that footfall in the town centre rose by around 10% in May, the ninth month in a row that the figure has gone up. The events around National Markets Day last month also saw a 13% increase in the number of town centre shoppers on the Saturday (June 23), compared to the previous week.
Those rises are coupled with an increase in satisfaction rates among shoppers according to the latest independent survey of people using the town centre.
Three quarters of those questioned said their main reason for visiting the town centre was for shopping, compared with just 35% in the last survey in 2009.
Two thirds said they used the town centre as their main centre for non-food shopping while a similar figure said they visit Rotherham because it is "close to home".
Three quarters of people visit once a week and the figures also showed the same number spend between one and two hours in town.
This week also sees national Independents Day being celebrated in Rotherham with poeple being encouraged to sign up for the town's Shop Local scheme. A stall is being set up near the entrance to the town's Indoor Market tomorrow (July 4) 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, will be joining the activities at noon and meeting some of the traders.
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.
The shoppers survey was carried out earlier this year and among the other findings were:
- 92% of shoppers are happy with the independent shopping offer (up from 42% in 2009)
- 92% were happy with the indoor market
- 93% of shoppers liked the nationwide shops on offer in the town centre (up from 29% in 2009)
- 35% of people said Rotherham had a good range of shops they liked, compared to just 2% in 2009
- 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)
- 79% were satisfied or very satisfied with the general cleanliness of the town (56% in 2009)
- 72% feel 'mainly safe and secure' in the town centre in the evenings (10% in 2009) and 69% feel that way in the daytime (25% in 2009)
Councillor Gerald Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development, said: "We know there's more that can be done and we're working with traders and other groups with an interst in the town centre to see what we can do to boost Rotherham trade even more."
The full survey can be viewed at the Rotherham Town Centre website under the "what's happening" section. The website also contains more information about the Shop Local Scheme.