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Chapel Allerton’s independent businesses hit back at Black Friday with their own ‘indie trail’ launch

Co-organiser of Chapel Allerton Indie Trail, Jo McBeath

By Immy Share

Thirty independent businesses in Chapel Allerton are taking part in a two-week Indie Trail to encourage people to support local businesses.

Shop owners are distributing maps of the main street with space for participating retailers to stamp the map following a purchase.

After receiving seven stamps, customers are entered into a prize draw to win £150 to spend locally.

Chapel Allerton’s high street

Owner of Chapel Allerton’s Chirpy, Jo McBeath, who co-organised the trail, said: “We began the trail on Black Friday as an anti-Black Friday event because it’s the bane of independent shopkeepers’ lives.

“We can’t afford to slash prices by 40 or 50 per cent but there’s been such a pressure over the last few years to do that, so rather than trying to compete we thought we would do something different.”

Jo added: “The buzz around the maps was great over the cyber weekend with people coming in clutching their maps wanting a stamp.

“Hopefully that will continue throughout this week and on ‘Small Business Saturday’ on December 7 which is the last day of the trail.”

The scheme aims to bring together Chapel Allerton’s range of independent businesses from retail to exercise, bars and restaurants by encouraging customers who might visit one of these to visit others as well.

Pam Muir – a Chapel Allerton resident – said that the local business-dominated high street was one of the reasons she moved to the area a few years ago.

She added: “I don’t have a huge spend or a local family and money is a consideration but if I can shop somewhere independent I still do.

The Chapel Allerton Indie Trail map

“Lots of people are conscious of the importance of local support but the trail is a good reminder for people to actually do something.”

The Indie Trail map was designed by local artist – Richard Locket – who stocks a selection of his work at Chapel Allerton’s Smart Gallery.

Owner Shelley Frieze, said: “The map itself is fantastic because it gives an outlook of what is on the street.

“It will make people look and think ‘oh I never knew that shop was there but while I’m here I’m going to go five doors up the road to that shop because I know it’s there now.’”

Shelley told Yorkshire Voice that the trail is a light-hearted and fun way to bring people to the area, giving them a purpose as they can shop and benefit the local economy as they go.

She added: “It gives community spirit which is what it’s all about really.”

The Chapel Allerton Blog will be contacting the winner of the prize draw on December 9.


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