shop local this Christmas

I first posted this through lockdown, but have adapted and added to for the late night shopping events in St Annes 2nd December and Lytham on 9th December 


The phrase “a nation of shopkeepers”, commonly attributed to Napoleon is a reference to the United Kingdom. Not so much, these days! They tend to be few and far between over the last 20 years or so, with the smaller independent shops being edged out of most High Streets by the ‘Big Boys’ and National Chains, one of the reasons is some of the premises are so large, a small (new) business could not afford the rent. But then came the pandemic and that changed pretty much over the last couple of years with some really large scale chains closing their doors!

We ARE lucky in our area to have smaller shop units and a higher than average ratio of independent business, in St Annes they tend not to be on the Square, but there are a few, so step away from there and find lovely surprises down every side street.

There were struggles for the high streets even before the lock downs, with the growth in online shopping and large out of town shopping complexes  A few managed to hold on in there though. I have had a sneaky feeling though that we were  DUE a reversal of fortunes and the pendulum had swung too far in the direction of faceless and to be honest soulless towns. Lets face it we all love to squeeze our avocados, smell that candle, feel the softness of material, marvel at how that ring shines, see how the colour of that top looks against your skin and try things on. Our basic instinct is to touch, feel, and pick things up.

Timothy's Jewelers Family Lytham

Timothy’s Jewellers, Clifton Street, Lytham 

Now more than ever we need to start (or continue) to shop local and be locally loyal, by doing this we can create towns we want to see endure for future generations.  Such a lot of the last couple of years lucrative trading times have been lost, such as the  Bank & School holidays plus all the Events that brought visitors in. It will take small business retail, services  & hospitality) years to recover.

The town centre/high street though is not just there for visitors, it’s for locals to enjoy too, we dont even have to spend a fortune, how about just £10 per week sound to you? According to various statisticians, that is all we need to keep our high streets buoyant. In turn your small independent business owners will spend your money locally on their supply chain, staff wages, other local business they support………..and so on, the circle of the local economy.

Locally owned independent retailers are the backbone of local communities. It takes a brave soul to decide to set up an independent High Street business either in retail or the food/drink hospitality business, and this spirit should be rewarded. So here’s an idea, lets THINK LOCAL FIRST, if you can’t buy (whatever it is) locally that’s fine, but if you CAN please DO! (When we say local we mean, Locally owned; Independently operated; As close to home as possible). It may cost a little more, but the feel good factor is priceless!

Millie and Mini Soy Candles Lytham

Millie & Mini, Clifton Street, Lytham 

Lets see shopping as an ‘experience’ when we can, with the whole family, with a group of friends or family members, pair it with lunch, coffee & cake, a pint and a prosecco and it’s an afternoon out!  But instead of the Trafford Centre, let it be YOUR town centre!! Be a tourist in your local town. Discover your NEW favourite shop/café/restaurant. Explore your town and adjoining towns, there is probably SO much you didn’t know was there, right on your doorstep, right under your nose. As well as cutting down your carbon footprint by not driving far, plus the frustration of traffic jams and queuing up to park in city centre car parks, get the bus or the train in.

Or if still nervous about venturing out, find small local independent (sometimes home based) businesses on line or on Facebook,  they are all local and helping money circulate with the local economy

Bond & Bloom, Clifton Street, Lytham

I know you cannot buy absolutely EVERYTHING locally but you’ll be surprised


(St Annes took place on 2nd December)

Come on over after work have a wander through the town under the Xmas lights and stop off for a drink or a bite to eat at one of the great pubs, bars and restaurants.

Here’s a list of places open in Lytham on the 9th December that will be opening until 8 (unless otherwise stated) 

(Original Image of the Xmas lights in Clifton Square by Gregg Wolstenhome)

Black Sheep Tearoom
Bond & Bloom
Celebrations Cards & Gifts (free fizz)
Clifton Jewellers
Courtyard Cafe (Henry Street)
Elvins (Clifton Walks)
Enpointe Dance Supplies (Park St)
Exquisite Shoes
Guilty Couture
Heart of the Home (free fizz)
Lytham Heritage Centre
Lytham Posy Bowl (Henry Street) 
Marvin’s Merry Market (Henry Street) 
Millie & Mini
Notch (Henry Street)
Plackitt & Booth
Pure Mischief (Clifton Mews) 
Room (mulled wine & hot chocolate)
Something Special and French Touch
Tasty Cheese Shop
The Watch Shop
Timothy’s Jewellers
Thompson & Hardwick (Park Street)
Will & Ward
Plus the ShowchoirNW outside Heart of the Home from 6.30 adding to the Festive Feel

This list are dynamic and will be added to daily, up to the event 

My website has recently changed focus but am still highlighting the people behind local business and featuring the most fabulous nearby business and services (physical & virtual) plus helping promote the #shoplocal messages almost daily, on my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, which adds up to over 18,000 followers which are people who are interested in Lytham St Annes, be it locals, near locals and visitors.

Take a browse now of the some of the fabulous places on this website DIRECTORY  and links to their Social Media and websites. read the BLOGS and see if you would like to be included