Colour adds to Xmas shopping promotion

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Gore retailers will add a splash of colour to the central business area with parking meter covers promoting free parking in the town.
The green covers made their first public appearance last night for the Christmas late night shopping.
Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks said the council was happy to offer free parking at certain times in December.
“As a former retailer, I know the challenges business can face, even at busy times,” Mr Hicks said.
“So any small thing we can do to make it easier for people to shop local has to be good,” he said.
While several councils were providing free parking in response to declining retail spending, in Gore it was part of a wider strategy to enhance the CBD.
Free wifi was launched earlier this year in town as part of that strategy, Mr Hicks said.
When considering providing free parking again this year, the council decided to add visual impact to promote the initiative as well the district and GoRetail.
“I think we have certainly achieved that with green covers for parking meters.”
GoRetail steering group member Ivan van de Water said retailers and shoppers appreciated the council’s gesture.
“We got a lot of positive feedback from shoppers last year but there was a little confusion around when free parking was on offer.”
The bags will certainly eliminate that, he said.
First Retail director Chris Wilkinson, who has worked closely with retailers and the council on the GoRetail initiative, applauded the collaboration between local government and business.
“GoRetail has enabled an agile and dynamic response to commercial opportunities, particularly around retaining spending and goodwill within the town centre.”
Mr van de Water said certain retailers had responsibility for specific areas. It would be their job to put the bags out each morning and take them in at night.
“Being made of nylon, the bags will last a long time if we look after them,” he said.
Mr van de Water said he was receiving excellent feedback about the GoRetail campaign and its shop local theme. Most Gore retailers were group members and there were 10 representatives on the steering committee.
Mr van de Water said retailers were “pretty positive” heading into the festive season.
A good spring and the fact farming families were up-to-date with farm work boded well for the festive season, he said.
There are 164 parking meters in Gore on Main, Mersey, Irk, and Medway Sts and Hokonui Dr.