Poll: Did Free Parking Encourage You to Shop in Town Over Christmas?

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    I was approached prior to Christmas by a research company acting in tandem with WCBC to monitor retail patterns in Wrexham (and across Wales). This is vital work and hopefully the results, which I am part privy to, will be published in full for the good folk of Wrexham to see and reflect on. Given that I know all of you Wrexham.Com aficionados love your facts, I thought that I would reveal some of my stats to you just to mull over. These are the 9 weeks taking my shop from November 1st to December 31st. They reveal a fairly neutral November and an excellent December. The latter coincided with the WCBC Car Parking initiative. The stats compare this year with comparable weeks last year



    Alun — was your footfall actually up in December or a few custimers with a high spend


    That is a good question Dylan and we have just had a new till installed that can quantify the average till purchase for next year to compare. It is not the case that my shop generates big hitter type of sales because a lot of the product sold is priced as low as 25p and my main book sales, for example are 99p per unit. I would say intuitively that the December figures were higher foot-flow generated and this would appear to tally with facts that are coming to hand. We have noted the perceived increases in the number of people traversing Bank Street during December and are glad to see them. I think that you have to look at my November figures to get a feel for trend as they were pretty much comparable to 2015 and my first instinct was to put the success at the door of the parking initiative. The jury is out on this one and many will attribute the success to the good weather enjoyed during December, others to macro-patterns across the UK. It will be interesting to see what others have to say



    Alun Do you have any comparisons with previous years with previous years in particular any times there was not free parking?


    Hi Andrew

    The % increase figures cited are 2016 over 2015. These were years when Car Parking charges were levied on all of the weeks in the base year (2015) and the first 4 of the weeks in the second year (2016). The only weeks where there are significant turnover increases are the 5 weeks where there are no charges levied in 2016. Previous years were broadly up or down with no significant changes overall

    AMA Express
    AMA Express

    The straight answer to your question is, no.


    It’s not Alun.


    I unfortunately did ‘HAVE’ to shop in Wreks’em over christmas. Normally I would go to Chester for a more pleasant and fruitful experience! As my wife was slightly less mobile this year we had to pop into town. We didn’t get everything we wanted, the drab town, dead eyed expression of the shoppers, zombie like shop assistance and the homeless or just drunk knob-heads running about shouting and swearing at each other made a very festive and enjoyable time. NOT.
    And free parking doesn’t come into it!
    And furthermore, I’ve lived here for over 50 years, used to love Wrexham town centre but the demise of the ‘real’ market on Henblas Street was the start of the end. The big names have come & gone and all that is left are empty shells of units only fit for the short-term pop-up christmas tat shops.



    Visit 1:
    We went to the cinema and were going to take advantage of the free parking at Waterworld but found the signs saying it was maximum 2 hours, but no way to pay or otherwise if you stayed longer as the machines were all covered up.
    We just went and parked in Crescent Road where we normally park because it’s free after 3pm anyway for as long as you like. Loads of spaces in both car parks at the time though.

    Visit 2:
    The other time we were going to try parking at Waterworld again but after moving 10m in 5 minutes on Ruabon Road we gave up and parked on Ruthin Road where we would normally park and walked in to town.

    Visit 3:
    We only wanted to pop into Halfords on the way to somewhere else but couldn’t get there due to gridlock on Ruabon Road again, so we gave up and went back to the bypass.

    So no, it didn’t make any difference to us.



    I had the same problem as Pete. I saw the signs saying 2 hours so ended up at St Marks which was £3 for the day. My OH did the same. The signage wasn’t very clear.

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