EVEN by today’s standards Christmas may seem more a recent memory than an upcoming event, but one Dromore group is playing the long game when it comes to efforts to boost local trade.
‘Doing It For Dromore’ has launched a trade/cash savings for vouchers campaign aimed at giving locals a head start on festive costs while at the same time keeping Christmas custom in town.
The ‘Keeping Christmas Trade in Dromore’ initiative is encouraging locals to ‘pay what you want, when you want; get your tokens at the end of November and shop in participating shops in Dromore’.
To date, participating businesses include SuperValu, Andrew Johnston Pharmacy, Jackie McCracken’s, Cut ’n’ Style, Moundview Centra, Serenity salon, J. R. Magill Cycles, Dromore Meats, Lee Lyons Hair Boutique, Luv Ur Pets, Bridge Books and the Country Choice Gift Shop. Helen McFadden of Doing It For Dromore, whose own festive ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ will be participating in the scheme, explained that in one case the group had to look outside Dromore for a, some would say, vital component. “We don’t have a toy shop,” she said, “so we approached David Rogers (Toymaster) in Banbridge –and he thought it was a great idea.”
According to Mrs. McFadden, some of the participating shops may also choose to offer additional deals or discounts.
Members of the public taking part in the initiative will do so by making cash lodgements, in whatever sum they choose, at whatever interval they choose - money that will be lodged in a dedicated account and ultimately exchanged for vouchers redeemable at the participating stores/businesses in the run-up to Christmas.
“I have record cards,” explained Mrs. McFadden, one of three traders to have undertaken to accept lodgements (Lesley Price of Bridge Books and Andrew Johnston are the others), “and if someone wants to give me, say, £10, I write it in the book and give them a card and they have a receipt on the card.
“When we have a certain amount we’ll open a Doing It For Dromore Christmas Club Account. Come November we’ll have vouchers made up and customers can ‘spend’ those in the participating shops who will then receive the cash value from the account.”
Mrs. McFadden said the idea was born when it emerged that some locals were participating in similar schemes involving larger, out-of-town stores.
“It occurred to me that trade was being taken out of Dromore,” she said, “so we thought it would be a fantastic idea to have a scheme that encouraged trade in town.”
Any other local traders who wish to sign up to the scheme are asked to get in touch with Helen on 028 9269 2395. “Participating shops have absolutely nothing to do but honour the vouchers,” she said.