In far west regional Victoria, there lies a small country town named Hopetoun, which is big on promoting the benefits of shopping locally.
Hopetoun retailers have been banding together for years, for the annual ‘Hopetoun and District Pre-school Shopping Spree’ – locals buy tickets from pre-school mums, which give them access to a special shopping event held once a year, where local retailers, including Hopetoun Newsagency, open their doors exclusively and offer various promotions and discounts. This year, however, Hopetoun retailers decided to up the stakes.
Glenda McCarthy, who owns Hopetoun Newsagency, told us that an employee of a local business had the idea of asking retailers, sporting groups and other interested parties to chip in to buy a car, to go towards a grand prize—thus, the Hopetoun ‘Feet on the Street’ promotion was born. Each retailer donated around $200, the car was bought, and now a series of pre-Christmas shopping events held in the town will allow customers to be in the running for this amazing prize.
During this year’s ‘Hopetoun and District Pre-school Shopping Spree’ held on 7 November, each customer received a ticket to raffle for the grand prize when they spent more than $25 at any store in town, enticing them to make the most of the fabulous offers on display. This year, the event also included activities for children, including face painting and a magician.
“This has always been a very successful night, one of the biggest for us leading up to Christmas—not only for sales but to also show off our shops at their best and encouraging browsing by customers who often just rush in and grab a paper or are more inclined to shop out of town,” said Glenda, of Hopetoun Newsagency.
“This Saturday we have the annual Neighbourhood House Market held at the Memorial Hall, weather permitting we will put up the portable gazebo and have some sort of stall/specials table to encourage shoppers to come along to our shop as well.”
This is such an inspiring example of how newsagents can, and should, get together with local businesses to promote and incentivise shopping locally.
When asked how she believes retail success comes about, Glenda said, “I think it is really important not to expect business; you have to get out there and get it for yourself, keep changing, keep looking for what your community needs. What are they going out of town to buy—is that something you could stock? Advertise well, make sure people know what you have. Don’t sit around and bawl about negatives, that will get you absolutely nowhere—if you want success, go get it for yourself.” We couldn’t agree more, Glenda!
Is your business involved in any shop local events? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear your story!