Return for late night shopping?

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PROPOSALS to introduce late night shopping in Daventry have mainly met with resistance from traders.

In its latest newsletter the Daventry Business Partnership (DBP) has suggested reintroducing late night shopping once a week. It comes after footfall counters found that more people are in the town centre between 6pm and 7pm than between 9am and 10am.

But despite that some shopkeepers don’t believe staying open later will bring any benefits to their businesses.

Peter Phillips, who has been running Edison Electrical on the High Street for 38 years, said: “We tried it some years ago when Daventry was about five times busier and it didn’t work then.

“I wouldn’t dismiss it but if we opened late it would mean extra overheads and no guarantee of more customers.”

Gemma Powell, who owns Orange Blossom Florist on the High Street, added: “It probably wouldn’t work for me. I already have evening appointments but if the shop was open I don’t think there would be much walk-in trade.

“I would think about it if other shops were doing it but I’ve noticed it starts to get a lot quieter after 4pm.”

Peter McDonald, who owns PJ Pets in Bowen Square, also said trade is a lot quieter later in the afternoon.

He added: “I used to work a bit later and in my experience as soon as it gets to 5pm it’s pointless staying open.

“I may stay open a bit later at Christmas time but throughout the rest of the year it’s not worth it.”

But Evergreen Art Cafe boss Simon Williams believes it could boost trade.

He said: “Anything to generate some interest in the town is great. We are coming up to the Christmas period and if we were open until say 8pm one night it would make sense.”

Peter Harper, who owns a number of businesses on Sheaf Street, added: “In principle I’m all for it but it needs to be done properly. There needs to be a common thread running through the town.”

DBP manager Sally Halson said: “There are no definite plans for late night opening in Daventry. At this stage we are simply asking the local business community the question.”