General News

Dressed for Success – vote for your favourite shop window this Christmas

Besi Besemar November 30, 2014

Around 30 independent retailers across Brighton & Hove are receiving expert advice on how to make the most of their window displays, as part of a package of support for small businesses from Brighton & Hove City Council in the run up to Christmas.

Dressed for Success

TRADERS taking part in the council’s ‘Dressed for Success’ scheme receive one-to-one tuition from a visual merchandising specialist, aimed at helping them to attract more customers and boost sales. From December 4 shoppers can follow a trail of participating shops around the city.

To vote for your favourite Christmas window display, click here:

Voting closes at noon on December 23 and awards for the most popular displays will be presented in January.

The Dressed for Success scheme is now in its fourth year, with more than 130 independent retailers taking part since it was first launched by the council.

Retailers from Portslade to Kemp Town are taking part in this year’s scheme, selling everything from food, fashion and flowers to toys, gifts, homewares and wine.Tuition is provided by independent retail trainers, Metamorphosis, on behalf of the council.

Cllr Geoffrey Bowden
Cllr Geoffrey Bowden

Councillor Geoffrey Bowden, chair of the city council’s Economic Development and Culture committee, said: “Brighton & Hove is renowned for its fantastic selection of independent shops and it is one of the attractions of shopping in the city. However, independent retailers usually don’t have the access to window dressing specialists that the big chain stores do, and that’s where the Dressed for Success scheme comes in – providing expert tips and advice to create fantastic eyecatching displays at Christmas and during the rest of the year as well.”

Adding: “The council is committed to helping our local retailers survive and thrive and Dressed for Success is one of a number of ways in which we support small businesses throughout the year.”

Other support for small businesses retailers includes: 

Small Business, Saturday (December 6)

The city council together with other business support organisations across the city is actively supporting Small Business Saturday. Maps will be given out at Brighton, Hove and Portslade stations to people arriving by train, promoting the independent retail areas, art installations and other activities going on during the day.

Ride the Wave business workshops

A business support programme providing local business people with free training, practical advice, and workshops to help them grow and create more jobs is being held from late November to March. Ride the Wave is funded and led by the council, and Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce who deliver the programme. For more information, click here: 

Free parking

Free parking will be available in five council car parks Trafalgar Street, High Street, Regency Square, London Road, and Norton Road on Saturday December 6 and Sundays December 7, 14 and 21.

Roadworks suspended

All major roadworks in busy shopping areas will be suspended or scaled down from December 1 to January 2.

Thousands of votes were cast across a range of different categories in last year’s competition, with positive feedback from participants taking part.

David Carmichael and Marco Wren of The Specky Wren opticians were among the winners last year. The opticians, based in Marshalls Row at the entrance to the newly restored Open Market in London Road, opened shortly before taking part in Dressed for Success and the competition helped to put it well and truly on the map. Since then they have gone on to feature more creative window displays – including a colourful summer design featuring origami flowers.

David said: “It was a great experience for us, we have a double fronted shop window and the tuition opened up our eyes to what was possible. The window has become a major focus for us now, it has got us thinking more creatively, and lots of people comment on our displays.”