October will be ‘Shoptober’ for independent shops and cafes in Banbury town centre, as a social media campaign to highlight the town’s locally-owned businesses returns after a successful pilot in 2016.
The Cherwell District Council-funded Banbury town team will lead the ‘Shoptober’ campaign, which promotes independent shops and cafes via the social media platform Twitter – with a number of new arrivals to Banbury’s Old Town among those to feature this time.
Town Team co-ordinator, Iain Nicholson, says: “Every day, Tuesday to Saturday from the 3rd throughout October, the @BanburyTownTeam Twitter thread will feature three of the town centre’s independent shops and cafes, with a mix of words and pictures, starting at the letter A and continuing through 65 different businesses.”
The campaign first ran in 2016 and proved a popular feature. Local blogger and Banbury town centre supporter, Deborah Menikoff Simmons, drew together the Shoptober twitter posts as a special report on her ‘The Banburian’ blog – http://www.thebanburian.com/shoptober-2017-banbury-indies/ – and has updated it for 2017. Deborah says: “It was fantastic to see such a line up grow and grow as the month went on; it was also clear from the response that locals and visitors alike were discovering (and rediscovering in some cases) new shopping and dining destinations.”
Shoptober is one of a series of projects to promote independent businesses in Banbury town centre as part of the town team initiative. Banbury town team co-ordinator, Neil Wild, has also continued to run the window display project in the former Moss Bros unit on High Street. With the support of its landlord and commercial agent, local independent businesses and community organisations have been able to create attractive window displays in the unit on a calendar basis, while work to let it continues. The project has a dual benefit of promoting existing businesses via a high profile display, and improving the look of the unit while it remains empty. Church Walk-based Banbury South African Store & Tearoom and Parsons Street-based J D’Cruz bags are the latest of what is now 21 window occupiers for the unit.