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Newark shops to be championed during event for independent businesses

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Shoppers are being urged to support independent retailers this festive season.

The build-up to Christmas is getting under way with the annual late-night shopping event in Southwell tonight and the lights switch-on and charity market in Newark on Sunday.

And the following weekend ­— on December 4 ­— will see the second #shopnewark event to encourage people to use independent retailers.

Laura Cook of Kingsman Interiors, helping to organise another Shop Newark Day (53279765)
Laura Cook of Kingsman Interiors, helping to organise another Shop Newark Day (53279765)

Following the success of the first event in August, around 40 shops are set to take part, using social media to promote their stores and running special offers, discounts, and competitions, including the chance to win £500-worth of vouchers and prizes

These include the likes of No Angel, Curtain Mill, Jane Young, Shirt Sleeves, the Fuji Shop, the White Dress Agency, Inizio, Wiseguy, Honeytrap Lingerie and Giles & Bella.

Newark shopkeepers at August's event. L-R Kerry Lacy, Emma Cook and Laura Cook. (43446340)
Newark shopkeepers at August's event. L-R Kerry Lacy, Emma Cook and Laura Cook. (43446340)

One of the organisers, Laura Cook, of Kingsman Interiors, said there was a positive reaction to August's #shopnewark event.

"The town saw an increase in footfall on the day and lots people were enjoying how busy the town was in general," she said.

Laura said it was vital that people to continue supporting independent businesses, particularly over the Christmas period.

Laura Cook, owner of Kingsman Interiors. (50929706)
Laura Cook, owner of Kingsman Interiors. (50929706)

"The support from local people and just anybody that visits Newark and shops on the high street is invaluable," she said.

"This Christmas we're asking people to think if they could buy just one thing from an independent shop it would make the world of difference to that independent shop owner, and if people are unsure where or if a shop has an item they can always message Shop Newark and we'd be happy to point you in the right direction.

"Without people supporting us a lot of us wouldn't be here. We really appreciate the fact that people are being a bit more meaningful about where they shop.

"It's really just to thank everybody for shopping with us.

"We're hoping that the majority of shops involved will have festive jumpers on and Christmas decorations.

"Each store is still going to offer something different, whether that's going to be a gift or a discount."

When asked why people may not always choose to shop locally, Laura said: "Quite often people assume that because it's from an independent shop, it's going to be more expensive.

"But, a lot of the time, independents are happy to match the price from online."

Giles & Bella on Kirk Gate will also be taking part in the day and have donated a £50 prize to the Christmas shopping day competition.

"We'll do anything to help the town in encouraging people to shop local," said Gill Hartevely from Giles & Bella.

"If they don't shop local then they are risking not having shops on the high street. There's things in our store that you wouldn't find in Nottingham or the bigger cities.

"It's good that we get support from people in Newark and the surrounding areas."

The day coincides with Small Business Saturday, a national campaign that highlights small business success and encourages consumers to shop local and support the small businesses in their communities.

Shop Southwell retailers will also be hosting their own late night shopping event tonight.

The town's independent shops and Christmas market will open until 8pm to allow more time to browse for presents.

There will also be carol singing to enjoy from Lowes Wong and Holy Trinity school children in the Admiral Rodney Courtyard, an advent shop window trail by Churches Together and festive food and drink.

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