Plans put forward for late night Christmas shopping in Hungerford

Hungerford trader calls for town to pull together to make December shopping evening a success

John Garvey


John Garvey

Christmas tree

PLANS are being laid for a late-night shopping evening for Hungerford town centre.

The initiative is being driven by Martin Bakker of High Street floral designers Martin and the Magpie.

He has written to fellow traders stating: “You may or may not have seen my open letters to the Newbury Weekly News expressing my worries about this town’s future after the drop in footfall numbers.

“That’s why I was ecstatic to see the initiative of the Bridge Street retailers to hold a late-night shopping evening on December 3. 

“It’s a great opportunity for customers, existing and new, to come and spend money in Hungerford outside normal opening hours... money that otherwise would have been spent in neighbouring towns or online.”

Mr Bakker has therefore proposed to hold a late-night shopping evening on Thursday, December 17.

He added: “I am aware that most of you will have been open the week before on the Victorian Extravaganza evening.

“However, I think we can all agree that the extravaganza is great for public relations, but not necessarily for sales.

“A late-night shopping evening is mainly sales, but could be both.

“I feel that if we pull together as a town and promote it well, we could have the streets buzzing again.

“Wouldn’t it be a lovely shopping experience with all the Christmas lights on?”

The town prides itself on having the best Christmas lights in the region – the spectacle uses around 380 Christmas trees and 400 strings of lights comprising nearly 50,000 LED bulbs.

Mr Bakker concluded: “I know it’s short notice, but I feel it would be a great way to promote Hungerford as a shopping destination.”

The initiative has been welcomed by the Hungerford Chamber of Commerce and chairman Nigel Perrin promised financial backing.

Mr Bakker who, in August triggered a lively debate when he publicly  challenged the town to consider welcoming larger stores to turn around the declining footfall, said the response from colleagues has been positive but he needs help with practical details, such as providing promotional banners.

He said: “I really hope we can pull this off and make it a great success. If it’s a success, we could do it next year, too.”

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Newbury Weekly News

Characters left: 1000


Collision involving car and lorry M4 Newbury to Hungerford

Three people injured in M4 Newbury to Hungerford collision

Two people taken to hospital after collision involving lorry and car

Village craft group nurture's disabled Paul's talent

Village craft group nurtures disabled man's talent

"Paul is very inspiring as he never complains and he always appears cheerful in spite of all he has to endure”

All Districts

Tri-service station work is on schedule


Hungerford Rugby Club welcomes 'help for Heroes' walkers


'A catalogue of excuses' over Hungerford railway station's regeneration