Alive After Five

Posted on 13/12/2016 · Posted in Blog

Online shopping, large out-of-town retail parks and super-sized supermarkets have all contributed to the decline of footfall in the UK’s town and city centres. Long established High Street brands have struggled to keep shops open and high rents can prevent independent retailers from getting a look in. It’s clear that in order to meet changing customer demands, a new approach is necessary.

Newcastle’s Vision

With vision, collaboration and fresh ideas, there are opportunities for town and city centres to not just survive, but to really thrive. This can be clearly illustrated in Newcastle. Six years ago, an initiative was launched with the aim of attracting more local residents and visitors to the main streets.

Alive after Five is a real collaboration that shows what can be achieved if businesses work together. The aim was to improve the city centre and bridge the gap between day and night. Newcastle is a vibrant city and this new approach helped to ensure this was always the case.

Retailers were encouraged to remain open until 8pm and the city management teams arranged a number of events, employed information guides and actively promoted this late opening initiative. As a further incentive, free parking after 5pm was offered at a number of central car parks.

Later opening hours offered residents and visitors greater choice. It gave physical stores a chance to compete with online retailers and provided shoppers with a chance to browse and buy at times that fitted in with their other commitments. People now have time to shop after work, or before heading out for a meal or show later in the evening.

Added Attractions

Live music and other street performances, specialist markets and seasonal events have enhanced the scheme and provided an additional means of attracting visitors. Early evening promotions have also helped restaurants, bars and other evening venues to extend their offering. Such events can help build a sense of community and encourage residents to take pride their city.

Investment Worth Making

There is no doubt that manning a store for longer hours has a cost implication, however 6 years on and the data shows in excess of a £700 million boost to the local economy. With lots of retailers committing to Alive after Five, there are sufficient shops open to make the centre appealing in the early evening. It’s been another success for Newcastle!

At this time of year many town and city centres offer late night shopping to entice customers in after work. With a collaborative approach and the support of the local council in terms of car parking or street entertainment, there could be the option of extending this throughout the year. Just one day per week could be enough to bring the High Street back to life.

Newcastle Storage

Market stalls, banners, PA systems, chairs; some of the items needed to run local events can be bulky and present a storage challenge when they aren’t in use. Local storage facilities can offer the ideal solution.

With 24 hour access, Newcastle’s Pay Less for Storage has always been ‘alive after five’, making it straight forward to drop off or collect items at a convenient time. Our units are secure, dry and clean, so if you are looking for Newcastle storage, please get in touch here.