Loyalty card plan will boost Saffron Walden town trade

PUBLISHED: 10:43 25 June 2009 | UPDATED: 21:48 31 May 2010

Saffron Walden Business Forum.
Saffron Walden.
June 24, 2009.
Photoraph by Michael Boyton.
Pic shows: Richard in the market square.
Name: Richard Swain.

Saffron Walden Business Forum. Saffron Walden. June 24, 2009. Photoraph by Michael Boyton. Pic shows: Richard in the market square. Name: Richard Swain.

INCENTIVE schemes to attract more shoppers into Saffron Walden could soon be rolled out by the town s business forum. Plans to boost town-centre trade include a parking rebate for shoppers who travel in by car and a loyalty card system to encourage return

INCENTIVE schemes to attract more shoppers into Saffron Walden could soon be rolled out by the town's business forum.

Plans to boost town-centre trade include a parking rebate for shoppers who travel in by car and a loyalty card system to encourage return visits.

The ideas were announced at a public meeting of Saffron Walden Business Forum (SWBF) in the town hall last Thursday.

Chairman Richard Swain said: "It is our job to look for ways to help local retailers in the town and the cost of parking is certainly something we need to tackle.

"It's not realistic to get Uttlesford District Council to reduce parking charges, but there is scope to expand the parking rebate initiative similar to the one carried out by Waitrose at their car park."

Businesses are being encouraged to get on board with the scheme which would see the retailer reimburse the shopper for the cost of parking if they spend over a certain amount of money.

Waitrose branch manager Malcolm Domb, who is heading up the sub-committee looking into the parking scheme, said: "Businesses that sell high-value goods could find the scheme very worthwhile, but it may not be so beneficial to shops, such as cafes, which sell smaller value goods."

A loyalty card scheme could also be introduced to give customers a greater incentive to use the town-centre shops.

Bruce Tice from the forum said: "As well as getting more people into the town and using the facilities, it would give cohesion to a disparate group of shopkeepers and give them a collective voice."

There are a number of forms that a loyalty card scheme could take such as giving a percentage discount to members, collecting points which can then be spent, or having discounts on selected items.

Any shops that would be interested in being involved with the parking rebate initiative should contact Mr Domb at Waitrose on 01799 525724. For more information about SWBF visit www.swbf.org.uk

DO you think a loyalty card or parking scheme would work in Saffron Walden? Let us know by emailing editor@saffron-waldenreporter.co.uk

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