Search
Marketing Success = Audience +Product +Expertise

WATCH: What is the secret of the success of Norfolk’s ‘village in a city’?

PUBLISHED: 16:48 01 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:49 01 February 2019

Bucking the national trend: independent shops in the Norwich Lanes have had a bumper Christmas and great start to the year compared to the woes of the high street. Pic: Ella Wilkinson, Archant.

Bucking the national trend: independent shops in the Norwich Lanes have had a bumper Christmas and great start to the year compared to the woes of the high street. Pic: Ella Wilkinson, Archant.

Shop owners in Norwich Lanes are celebrating a record-breaking start to the year bucking the trend for doom and gloom on the high street.

Shop owners in Norwich Lanes are celebrating a record-breaking start to the year bucking the trend for doom and gloom on the high street.

One owner reported tripling his sales this month and another had the “best Christmas season for 27 years”.

Other stories of joy at the tills ranged from one store doubling its turnover in six months and another where sales rose by a whopping 25%.

MORE: Do you want to own a whole Norwich street?

Business writer Caroline Culot takes a stroll down Norwich Lanes. Pic: Ella Wilkinson, Archant.Business writer Caroline Culot takes a stroll down Norwich Lanes. Pic: Ella Wilkinson, Archant.

Jonty Young, spokesman for the Norwich Lanes Association, said: “I like to think we have created a village in a city, where you can find great customer service, people don’t just stand behind counters like they do in the national stores, but are willing to help.”

Mr Young is the Lanes’ gatekeeper in terms of negotiating with landlords buying properties and ensuring that chain stores are kept out.

“We have a waiting list of about 30 shops wanting to come into the Lanes and many of the buildings have retail below with residential above. Some have Airbnbs, others have businesses in the eaves, web designers, artists all looking to take up redundant rooms so the Lanes has its own micro economy.”

Martin Turner, owner of Working Title men’s clothing store, said he had seen sales more than triple this month and Christmas sales were 25% up.

"Sales are 20% up and we've sold some best-sellers which we ourselves published," Henry Layte, Bookhive. Pic: Ella Wilkinson, Archant.

“The Lanes is a community,” he said. “People seem to like shopping among historic buildings, we have the museum opposite and all the traders help each other.”

Henry Layte, owner of Bookhive, said his business was 20% up on 2018. “It has been noticeably busier, to the point of asking ourselves why? We offer the antithesis of shopping at Waterstones, we don’t sell many of the best sellers or celebrity autobiographies.”

David Hanton, owner of Mod One, which stocks 1950s and 1960s clothing, said he had doubled his turnover in six months since relocating from Magdalen Street. “The rent is more expensive; I pay £12,000 a year, nearly double what I was paying but the footfall is so much greater. We offer clothes you can’t get from Debenhams – so many of the high street shops sell ‘throwaway’ fashion but people want to be individual.”

Norwich Lanes offers something different for the shopper. Pic: Ella Wilkinson, Archant.Norwich Lanes offers something different for the shopper. Pic: Ella Wilkinson, Archant.

Bookhive, one of the stores reporting a sales increase. Pic: Ella Wilkinson, Archant.Bookhive, one of the stores reporting a sales increase. Pic: Ella Wilkinson, Archant.

"We've had the best Christmas for 27 years," Joe Ereira head of sales at Dogfish. Pic: Ella Wilkinson, Archant.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists