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Sell me on a Sunday in St Helens
A CAMPAIGN is being launched to encourage more shoppers into St Helens town centre on Sundays.
Traditionally Sundays have been low key for shopping in the town, however, neighbouring retail parks and city centres attract thousands of visitors.
Now St Helens Council wants to step up the drive to attract more visitors to the heart of the town as part of the Love St Helens town centre campaign.
An increasing number of stores have committed to opening and the local authority hopes that by continuing free Sunday parking it will entice more shoppers.
The local authority believes that more than half the shops in the town centre are now opening, including BHS, B&M, Samuels, Miss Selfridges, New Look, Clare's accessories, HMV and ODs.
A large number of cafes, bars and restaurants are also opening, underlining the commitment of local businesses to changing habits on Sundays.
Campaigners believe that, with the run up to Christmas shopping approaching rapidly, it is important to stress the choice that is on offer.
The town centre has been subject to much debate in the past 18 months, with store closures and a growth of budget stores and charity shops during the double dip recession giving ammunition to the ‘Poundtown’ critics.
The axing of Dixons on Church Street and boarding up of Millets this month will add fuel to the debate but there remains a fierce determination among independent traders to overcome the doom-mongers.
Indeed, St Helens Council claims that its events packages – which typically take place on Saturdays and have ranged from brass band concerts, classic cars shows to street performances – have helped some shops record a 46 per cent increase in trade.