Honiton to give late-night shopping another go

Shops encouraged to make a “consolidated effort” to launch festive season in market town.

Late-night shopping is set to make a comeback in Honiton this Christmas - and traders are being urged to make it a “consolidated effort”.

A number of outlets independently stayed open late last year and found there was a demand.

Members of Honiton and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry have formed a small sub-committee to work on a three-day programme of festive events on December 6, 7 and 8.

Late-night shopping is planned for Thursday, December 6, and eight shops have already confirmed they will be taking part.

Wendy Le Masurier, of Wendy’s Cookshop, is enthusiastically leading efforts to improve Honiton’s offer to shoppers in the run-up to Christmas.

She told the Midweek Herald: “We have just got to give it a go and put as much effort in as we can.

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“I will be encouraging each shop to individually serve mulled wine and mince pies to customers on the night to make it a special shopping experience.

“A number of shops will be providing a present wrapping service and there will be carol singers in High Street.

“I am hoping to get chestnut sellers in the town centre and am definitely going to incorporate the market into the festivities.”

Wendy says Honiton is the ideal destination for Christmas shopping “because you get a personal service and do not have to deal with the crowds”.

She added: “An event like this will make it easier for Christmas shoppers to come to our independent shops and get unique presents.”

The festivities will be followed the next day with the chamber’s annual carol service and conclude on the Saturday with Honiton Christmas Carnival.

Late-night shopping has been tried in the past, but has not proved hugely popular.

The chamber’s treasurer Janet Loosemoore told a meeting last week that a “consolidated effort” was needed to ensure the event shows Honiton off at its very best.