Love Gore Shop Local

Donald BuckleyThe Southland township of Gore is on a mission to stop spending attrition and regain the loyalty and support of its community.

As part of the Gore District Council’s strategy to become New Zealand’s most commercially resilient provincial town, retailers have launched a bold initiative designed to re-engage shoppers with local businesses.

“Love Gore, Shop Local” is a key element of the wider plan to get consumers to consider stores in the township first before a trip to nearby cities or online purchases.

The consumer-focused campaign was launched by retailers in their monthly GoRetail meeting on Wednesday morning to a positive audience of business leaders and managers from across Southland.

The program focuses first on helping businessess adapt their range and offer to meet Gore’s needs and expectations. This includes in-depth analysis of products available through to hours and service standards.

Businesses are working collaboratively to ensure changes and improvements are in place ahead of the busy summer season ahead. Plans include new weekend hours, alignment on late nights over Christmas, community e-commerce, and a range of special shopping events.

‘’Whilst the initiative focuses on consumers, we’re delighted that the concept has engaged the wider business community,” says Lorraine Nicolson from strategist First Retail Group, which has been working with Gore District Council. “Whether it’s a pair of jeans or a new truck, the principles of supporting local business are the same,” she says.

A range of initiatives are developing at pace now according to retailer, Chanelle Purser, who owns Carvan Streetwear. Purser, along with other well-known business leaders, is part of GoRetail’s steering group that is coordinating the project.

Gore’s lead has inspired a number of other towns to revisit their retail strategy, with similar initiatives under way throughout the country. A renewed focus from central government on the economic health of provincial NZ is predicted to see further projects such as this launch in the coming months.

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