'Humbug to Black Friday - Sheffield shops deserve our support instead'
The ingenuity of Sheffield entrepreneurs is shown in spades today, with our front page story on how traders are taking the revival of the high streets they serve into their own hands.
On top of running their own businesses, they have put together detailed plans on how to improve Broomhill, Hillsborough, Walkley and Firth Park, and successfully bid for £200,000 each to introduce those improvements.
Hats off to them for this achievement. Some of the ideas they have come up with are brilliant.
Hillsborough will get its first Christmas lights in a remarkable 25 years, Broomhill is to have new street markets and a green wall, in Walkley there will be an arts trail and in Firth Park, a deep clean, among many other projects for the areas.
The business owners involved and Sheffield Council, which provided the funding, hope these ideas will bring extra footfall and then spend to local high streets.
Here’s something we can all do to help. Tomorrow is so-called Black Friday, when (usually) larger retailers offer discounts meant to appeal to Christmas shoppers.
However some retailers now don’t take part as it has been questioned whether the ‘deals’ are actually good value at all, with research showing the prices of items were the same as they were six months previously. In some cases, prices were hiked to then be reduced just for the promotion.
Not very Christmassy after all but a cynical marketing gimmick that Scrooge himself would be proud of.
Instead of browsing online to bag a bargain, we can all visit our local high street and buy gifts from there instead.
Yes, we may need to buy less than we usually do, but isn’t that a good thing too? I’ve been trimming my present list down for years and anything that means there is less wrapping is a win win for me.
Just don’t rely on free Christmas parking in the city centre to do it...