Wanstead shops unite to revive business partnership and promote trade

Wanstead shopkeepers are uniting to resurrect a business partnership and to promote their trade to local shoppers over options such as Stratford’s Westfield centre.

The Wanstead Business Partnership had been dormant for about two years, according to its new chairman Rachel Root, owner of The Orange Tree, an interiors shop in High Street, Wanstead.

But after an initial meeting which was well attended by shopkeepers and councillors, the partnership is now planning “eat local” and “shop local” promotions.

Events will also be organised to attract customers to the High Street.

Ms Root said: “It’s not about slashing prices, we want to make people feel part of the High Street and want to spend time on it.

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“Now there’s a real reason to be part of the partnership.

“The economic climate is not great and Westfield is one of the factors.”

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Plan of action

Businesses drew up an initial plan of action at the Nice Croissant caf� in High Street on May 24, with Cllrs Thomas Chan, Chris Cummins and Sue Nolan in attendance.

The group will also be supported by Beverley Stratton, Redbridge Council’s town centres and business improvement district manager.

Ms Root said about 25 businesses have shown an interest and different sections of the High Street will be split up into blocks to allow “co-ordinators” to easily communicate the partnership’s work.

She said there has been a “noticeable downturn in footfall” since the giant Westfield shopping centre in Stratford opened.

Partnership treasurer Michele Redgrave, from the Images in Frames shop in the High Street, said: “We’re doing quite well, things have been improving. But there are days when the High Street is quiet and I don’t know why.”

Amerah Bashir, of Silver Lined Wedding Shows and Events, was nominated as the deputy chairman.

The shops got an early opportunity to test their community spirit during their Diamond Jubilee street party on Sunday.

The next meeting of the partnership will be held at Nice Croissant on June 18 at 6pm.

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