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BUSINESS

Indie shopping project gets under way

A community project is getting under way which aims to improve the shopping experience in Grangetown.

The hope is eventually to promote the best of the area's independent stores and also organise a "shop local" campaign.

As a first step, four post-graduate marketing students from Cardiff Business School surveyed shoppers and business owners to get some opinions.

Then they will work with Grangetown Community Action - and hopefully some business owners - to work on some ideas and plans.

The project is being organised through Cardiff University's Community Gateway programme. The MSc students are working full-time through the summer on it - and it follows involvement of 200 undergraduate students in coming up with initial ideas.

What is the aim? To help boost the shopping experience in Grangetown.

How? By looking at developing a "shop local campaign" and working with businesses to help promote shopping in Grangetown among local residents. One idea is to develop a local business forum and also look at ideas like branding and a loyalty card. We're also looking at featuring local businesses a lot more for free on the Grangetown community website, on social media and in the Grangetown community newspaper.

What is happening now? To start, shoppers and shops/businesses were asked for their views and what they'd like to see and what some of the issues they're facing. There was a face-to-face questionnaire, which was also available online. Thanks to those who took the time - the results are now being analysed.


Post-graduate students Annie, April, FeiFei and Joanna who will be helping with the project over the summer

Steve Duffy, who is looking after the project for Grangetown Community Action, said: "As a first step we want to hear from businesses and shoppers themselves - how things are, what concerns them and what might they like to see.

"The students are all new to Grangetown so are coming with a lot of enthusiasm and open minds - and we'll be tapping into some expertise along the way. There are some great examples near and far of independent shopping projects working in other communities and we want to see what we can achieve here."

There are a number of diverse independent shops in Grangetown that have been in the area for years. Being so close to the city centre, and with more and more chain stores being established, there is greater risk that some of these shops will not stand the test of time. But also some residents living here - or new to the area - may not know what's on their doorstep, especially some of the specialist shops and also new businesses which have opened.

In light of the council's recent regeneration of a key Clare Road/Penarth Road shopping junction in Grangetown, in which businesses are having their shop-fronts renovated, Grangetown Community Action is looking at helping to develop an online and 'in person' Business Forum to encourage businesses to collaborate, cross-promote and showcase the best of Grangetown.

Some of the ideas so far:

Anyone interested in more information, please email grangetowncardiff@yahoo.co.uk

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