10 Reasons to shop in Ringwood this Christmas
This Christmas, believe in the magic of shopping locally and you can make it merry & bright for your local traders too!
With only three more shopping weekends left until Christmas we are encouraging people to turn to their local shops and businesses to get the job done. We believe you may just find it more rewarding than you might think.
An early Christmas treat for Ringwood locals
In a bit of good news for Ringwood, Cllr Tony Ring announced recently that; “Following pressure from the Town Council, National Highways have decided to postpone the closure of the west bound entry slip road from Ringwood on to the A31, originally planned for 15th November, now to be carried out on 4th January. This will greatly ease traffic flow to the town for the whole festive shopping period. Another great reason to keep shopping in Ringwood this Christmas!”.
Cllr Tony Ring also comments; “Christmas celebrations commenced in Ringwood on 28th November with a hugely successful event with family entertainment, shopping and catering facilities spread through the Market Place, High Street, Furlong Centre and surrounding areas. This festive vibe will continue through to the big day by way of the Winter Wanderland experience, which invites townsfolk and visitors to tour the town and take advantage of the excellent quality retail, food and drink offer extended by so many Ringwood businesses.”
Why choose Ringwood?
Luckily Ringwood High Street and Market Place has an abundance of independent shops and businesses; as well as many cosy cafes and restaurants that can provide a welcome respite for the weary Christmas shopper. From the glamour and pampering at Simply Beauty, to the homeware gifts from the Lighthouse Cookshop, through to the dazzling jewellery from Allum & Sidaway - there really is something for everyone in Ringwood.
Tony Dark, Owner of Alda Trophies & Specialist Glass Engravers and Chairperson of the newly formed Ringwood Business Association, describes Ringwood as a “quintessential New Forest Market Town and a culinary hub rolled into one”. The Ringwood Business Association was formed in October of this year to be the voice of the traders in the town and to carry out initiatives and actions that will collectively benefit the local businesses.
The Furlong shopping centre, just a short stroll from the main High Street has an eclectic mix of big brands, courtyard cafes, independent boutiques and with the most recent addition of the Arboro Lounge Café & Bar, it’s another great gift buying spot for the town.
10 good reasons to shop in Ringwood this festive season and beyond
As well as all the many convincing arguments already stated above; we’ve compiled our top ten reasons why we believe you should choose to shop in Ringwood this Christmas.
1. Shopping local is better for the environment
Most people are conscious about their environmental impact, whether trying to recycle more, limiting their single plastic use or using alternative modes of transport such as cycling. For this reason, shopping locally and more sustainably is perfectly suited for those being mindful of our environmental impact because it reduces our carbon footprint. Ringwood has excellent facilities for cyclists and multiple electric car charging points in the main Pay & Display car park. There are also several buses that stop right in the centre of town, only a short walk away from the main shops and eateries.
If you’d like to know more about the sustainable businesses in Ringwood or how you can help do your bit, visit the official Ringwood Actions for Climate Emergency (RACE) website - www.raceagainsttime.org.uk
2. Your spending will boost the local economy
The Ringwood community is known for its strength and positivity, and the local businesses within it are the backbone. By spending your money this Christmas in your local, independent shops you are doing your bit to keep these businesses going and keep people in jobs. Instead of clicking on the online giants this year, think if you can find something similar or even better at one of our Ringwood shops.
3. Shopping locally is a lot more enjoyable
Shopping in one of England’s oldest market towns is a much more charming overall experience than battling the Christmas crowds at other large shopping complexes.
Shopping at physical retail destinations also negates the delivery paranoia. Will my parcel arrive in time? Will my neighbour take it in if I’m not there? Will it be damaged? We’ve all been there and the closer we get to Christmas, the higher the stakes become.
4. You’ll be supporting local entrepreneurs
Local independent shops often sell locally-produced items which aren't available elsewhere: quirky one-off items, often by local artists and designers, food producers and growers, so you're buying products absolutely unique to the Ringwood area. This helps preserve the community’s distinction and creates more career prospects locally for generations to come.
To find out the latest jobs at The Furlong visit their jobs page.
5. You’ll find a unique gift
Independent shops have shopped around, selected an inventory of products and brought them to your doorstep. This often includes items you might not find at national chain stores. Often the shop owner of an independent store will work on the shop floor so you can find out the provenance and back story of your gift. This will make a nice anecdote on Christmas Day when you pass the story on to the lucky recipient.
6. Customer service is often much better
Local business owners do what they do because they are passionate about their products and typically take more time to get to know their customers. They’ll often go the extra mile to help you and to ensure you’re a satisfied customer. More often than not, without the deep pockets for marketing that more mainstream retailers have, they will rely more on word of mouth recommendations.
7. You can get good advice
Shopping at a local business means you’re more likely get an expert opinion about the products that you’re purchasing. Local business owners are well informed about their products and know what they are selling. They have to be experts in their field to compete. A perfect example of this is Margaret Dark (co-owner at Alda Trophies & Specialist Glass Engravers), who is one of the top 5 glass engravers in the UK and has access to over 36,000 designs, all created in-house.
8. You can help shape the community of the future
Local businesses often host events, from charity spin-a-thons to craft workshops with local artists. Christmas fairs and craft markets often include local voluntary organisations and charities.
Whilst shopping in a local business helps it financially, it also supports the wider local economy and community. It’s an excellent opportunity to see new businesses continue to open and prosper within the neighbourhood. In turn, thriving independent businesses can help support local charities and community groups in the town.
9. Loyalty is often rewarded
Being a recognised customer in your local shop often comes with its perks. Being the first to know about new products or the latest discounts are just some of the benefits of building up a rapport with your local shopkeeper or owner.
Unlike larger chains, you will be able to receive discounts on the items you actually want and not just the ones they want to sell you. Believe it or not, prices online are not always the cheapest - especially as we get closer to Christmas and of course you won’t have to pay for postage or hope your package is delivered in time.
10. Boost local traders & get a great deal
Many of us have been hit hard by the pandemic but independent businesses without infinite capital and resources behind them have really struggled. Buying from a local business; whether from a market stall, an actual shop or an independent cafe or restaurant, is a great way to support them both financially and figuratively by showing you love what they do. This means they’ll be able to continue doing the great work that they do.
Our Ringwood shops rely on footfall from local people. As our smaller independent shops in Ringwood have fewer people visiting and shopping with them than more prominent mainstream destinations, they will create more enticing deals to help encourage you to buy from them. They rely on higher conversion rates to counter the lower footfall.
Hopefully we have helped convince you why you should visit Ringwood for your Christmas shopping this year. We really are fortunate in Ringwood to have such a vibrant selection of shops, eateries and services. Let us all help support them in the run up to Christmas!