Chester city centre gears up for the return of CH1ChesterBID’s ‘Head Out Not Home’ campaign.
Debenhams, Lush, Next, The Grosvenor Shopping Centre and Watergate Street Gallery among the businesses staying open until 7pm on Thursdays
Cestrians and visitors heading into Chester city centre this summer will be able to shop, dine and play for longer after CH1ChesterBID announced the return of its popular ‘Head Out Not Home’ campaign.
Following the success of last year’s scheme, which saw a 22% increase in city centre footfall on Thursday evenings, the city’s Business Improvement District is again working with local retailers to offer extended opening hours on Thursday nights from July 27.
Around 30 city centre stores including Debenhams, The Grosvenor Shopping Centre, Hotel Chocolat, Primark, Next, Lush, Watergate Street Gallery and Corks Out have already pledged their support for the campaign and will stay open until 7pm every Thursday until September.
On top of that, a selection of bars and restaurants such as Chez Joules, Fiesta Havana and Burger Shed will be offering special deals to visitors on Thursdays between 5pm and 7pm.
Carl Critchlow, BID manager at CH1ChesterBID, said: “Head Out Not Home was a huge success last year delivering an impressive increase in city centre footfall so we were really keen to build on that and bring it back for 2017.
“The lighter summer evenings offer a perfect opportunity to bridge the gap between Chester’s daytime and evening economies and that’s what Head Out Not Home is all about – encouraging people to shop, dine and play for longer in Chester.
“We’re delighted with the number of businesses that will be keeping their doors open late on Thursday evenings and we’ve got a really good mix of stores to appeal to a wide range of tastes and interests. When you combine that with activities like our recently launched Talking Walls project, ARK at Chester Cathedral and a packed events programme at Storyhouse, Chester really is the perfect destination for a memorable summer evening.”
A full list of businesses opening late on Thursday nights as well as the special offers available can be found on here.
Alex Sharp, owner of Watergate Street Gallery, said: “We’re really pleased to be supporting CH1ChesterBID’s ‘Head Out Not Home’ campaign this year on the back of last year’s successful campaign.
“As an independent business, we really value initiatives that encourage residents and visitors to spend more time exploring the city centre. It’s great to see such a mix of independent and high street stores rallying together on a citywide project like this and I hope shoppers really make the most of it this summer.”
Laura Hockenhull, store manager at Marks & Spencer on Foregate Street, added: “As a city centre, we’re constantly competing with retail parks, shopping centres and the increase in online shopping, so it’s our job to ensure that shopping in Chester is a unique experience that can’t be found anywhere else.
“It’s so important that the service we deliver matches up with the changing needs of our customers and offering flexible opening times is a vital ingredient in that mix. We’re proud to be backing this year’s campaign and I hope it’s just as successful as the last.”
Cheshire West and Chester council will also be supporting the campaign with extended park and ride services available until 8pm each Thursday. Click here to see the full timetable of routes and services.
For more information about Head Out Not Home or CH1ChesterBID, visit: www.experiencechester.co.uk or call 01244 320677.