Friday night trading to go on trial
IPSWICH'S Top of Town retailers hope a trial of Friday night shopping and dining will bring increased trade.
Business owner and Top of Town Working Committee member Naomi George said customers had mentioned that there was nowhere to go after work on a Friday evening.
"I know a few of the local school teachers like an afternoon drink and that there are limited options in this area," Ms George said.
"If you can bring people in and not have to compete with Thursday night shopping, I think it can work."
Ms George began approaching other business owners in September to gauge interest in the concept.
Eventually, nine others - including dining, fashion and gift businesses - signalled their intentions to take part in the initiative.
If successful, it is hoped that more will come on board later.
Confirming she would open until 8pm this Friday, Deann's Coffee House owner Deann Devin said the participation of a diverse range of businesses would be required to ensure the concept was successful.
"If I find that everyone starts opening on Friday night then I'll keep doing it too - your customers will come to the cafe if they know there is going to be somewhere to go shopping as well," Ms Devin said.
"This Friday may not provide a good indication of how successful it is.
"I think you will really need to give people a while to find out about it."
Ms George said she hoped the concept of Friday night shopping and dining could gain some serious momentum in the lead-up to the Christmas peak in trade.
Participating businesses will trade from 9am to 8pm on Fridays.