Independents can draw shoppers to Chichester after House of Fraser closure

As retail chains struggle, independent traders are hoping a unique and personal experience will keep shoppers visiting the city.

Friday, 15th June 2018, 4:29 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:51 pm
DM1820094a.jpg Drapers Yard, Chichester - etc magazine feature. Owner Kay Mawer (far right) and traders. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180102-191848008

Kay Mawer, from Draper’s Yard, said it was a shock to hear a permanent fixture like House of Fraser was leaving but it was not all doom and gloom.

She said micro-businesses and designers still had plenty to offer visitors at the collective, which recently had an exhibit at Chichester’s House of Fraser’s store.

“We absolutely loved our experience as a Pop Up in House of Fraser last month and the manager was introducing some really exciting events, including more collaborations with us at Draper’s Yard,” she said.

“These were just the sort of happenings that add energy and vitality to an offer, it’s gutting that the store has been put on the cull list.

“Physical stuff, events and experiences are exactly what you can’t get online and are what can drive people to our high streets and destination, rather than just turning to an online spend.

“We do a brilliant job of this at Draper’s Yard, with lots going on, guest traders, unique makers, and our resident independent businesses who really provide a diverse offer for our High Streets.”

Alongside its permenent set up in the Hornet from 10am to 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday, the collaborative hosts a variety of events.

YUM Saturday runs every fourth Saturday of the month and Kat hopes to launch a Food Assembly service, offering a weekly delivery of pre-ordered local produce, directly from the farmers and makers.

She said the direct line of contact with a designer or business owner was a core reason for Draper’s Yard’s success.

“Micro businesses like ours are run by passionate people who are doing what they are doing because they love it.

“Customers can find out all they need to know and the story behind each business journey straight from the horse’s mouth.

“There is a huge opportunity for personalisation and uniqueness.

Draper’s Yard will celebrate its second birthday later this month with four days of free tea and coffee from its vintage coffee van from Tuesday, June 19, to Friday, June 22.