Shop Local ends on a high

Retailers in Attleborough and Wymondham have hailed The Mercury's Shop Local for Christmas campaign a success as the popular initiative comes to an end this week.

Shoppers have until tomorrow to hand in their completed passports to be in with a chance of winning �1,000 as a reward for shunning the national chains and looking towards their local independent stores for their Christmas gifts and produce.

The winners of the cash prize draw will be announced in next week's edition of the Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury.

Since the campaign launched in October we have highlighted the economical and environmental benefits of shopping locally, as well as some of the beautiful and unique Christmas present ideas available in our local shops.

We have also showcased the range of high quality cafes where you can enjoy a cup of tea and a cake between pounding the pavements and the abundance of beauty and hair salons to pamper yourself in time for a festive party.

Michelle Fernandes, owner of women's clothing shop Ward-Robes in Wymondham, who is also a member of the Wymondham Retail Traders' Group, said: 'I think it (Shop Local campaign) has gone very well. Certainly my customers have been coming in with their cards and asked for their stamps.

'It gets very busy at Christmas anyway but I just think it's given a generally nice feeling amongst people to think something like this is happening.

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'We need to do something to keep the businesses in the town - to have a bit of an incentive. We have got these lovely shops and to give some incentive for people to use the shops is an excellent idea.'

Steve Eldred, company director at A W Myhills in Attleborough, where our campaign was launched almost 10 weeks ago, said he hoped it has inspired people to continue shopping locally throughout the year.

'It has got people to think about looking locally and not presuming that going to Norwich will save you lots of money,' he said.

'We have been getting quite a few people mentioning it (Shop Local campaign). I think it was a successful campaign and I think people have been taking notice of it. Now we need their continued support.'