Those of you who have watched Mary Portas’s recent television series will know that Barnet High Street is not unique in having problems. Many of those problems are similar to those experienced by the towns featured in the show. These issues include parking (or the lack of it), out of town competition (Brent Cross) and sky high rents from greedy landlords.
High Street Problems
The interesting parts of the show for me though are the solutions. What can we do to re-invigorate our High Street? There are a number of strategies. Some High Streets have succeeded in creating a high quality independent food experience with a number of specialist retailers. Others have brought retailers together to offer home delivery.
My interest is loyalty cards. We need to give shoppers a reason to return to our High Street. Loyalty cards come in many different forms. The simplest are the kind the retailer stamps and when you have collected a certain number of stamps you can get a discount or other offer. The most sophisticated operate like a credit card and are swiped by the retailer when a purchase is made. Loyalty card schemes can be run by companies or by groups such as Love Barnet. The key to their success is to give something of value to the customer without costing the retailer too much.
Love Barnet Loyalty Card
A Love Barnet Card could be run to include all the retailers who want to opt-in. Different retailers would offer different savings. A hairdresser might offer a discount on a certain day of the week to a card holder, a beautician, a free manicure or a coffee shop a free croissant when a coffee is ordered. The aim is to have the customer returning several times or using several shops in order to earn the reward. By encouraging repeat business a virtuous circle can be created where increasing business can create better offers to tempt more people to shop in Barnet.
If you are interested in helping our High Street and have ideas you would like to share then please contact Love Barnet