Saturday, June 6, 2020

Chesterfield Investment Summit 2019 hears how localised social media could be key to revitalising town’s high street

With up to 74% of high street retailers not having an active social media presence, Polly Barnfield OBE, a member of the government’s High Street Task Force has urged Chesterfield’s shops and market traders to adopt social media and use it to deliver both footfall and sales on demand.

Speaking at the sell-out 2019 Chesterfield Investment Summit, Ms Barnfield, who has been named as one the top 100 influential women in technology, believes events and localised social media activity could be the key to revitalising and growing Chesterfield’s high street.

She said: “Social media is a resource that any business can use, and retailers should use this opportunity to engage with and understand their customers.

“Social media is fundamentally changing the rules of doing business. It’s not a question of a business being online or offline anymore – they must be both. There has been a huge shift in human behaviour over the last 15 years driven by social media. For the first time ever, people now spend more time on their mobile phone than watching TV.”

However, she urged retailers not to just to focus on selling themselves on social media. “Engagement with the community around you is key. You can’t just sell your own product on social media if you want to be successful,” urged Ms Barnfield.

She advised: “Retailers should post on social media every day and talk to their audience not just about what is happening in their business but around them.”

Highlighting the power of social media on retail at the Investment Summit, it was revealed that ALTERIS, owner of Vicar Lane Shopping Centre, has successfully used the online platform Maybe* over the last six months to increase footfall by 36%.

ALTERIS bought Vicar Lane Shopping Centre out of administration earlier this year promising to create “a new town centre retail model for the post e-commerce world.”

Ms Barnfield was one of several speakers presenting at the annual Investment Summit which was held at the Chesterfield Casa Hotel.

Addressing future investment and development opportunities in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire, the event was organised by Derbyshire Economic Partnership, Destination Chesterfield and Marketing Derby.

Speaking at the event Dr Huw Bowen, Chief Executive of Chesterfield Borough Council, also revealed that the town had welcomed 230 business start-ups in the last 12 months.

He commented: “For Chesterfield to grow and survive it needs to be a place that people feel they can do business and do it successfully. This means ensuring we make the most of our competitive advantages in order to attract investment as well as manage current development opportunities including HS2, Chesterfield Waterside, Northern Gateway and Peak Resort. Our competitive advantages underpin our recently published Growth Strategy.”

Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield, highlighted the town’s successful public-private sector partnership approach to investment, commenting: “Chesterfield is a town of opportunity and we have the partners and collaboration in place to drive forward our ambitions to not only deliver our current development plans but also attract further investment and continue to grow.”

More than 200 people attended the 2019 Chesterfield Annual Summit. In addition to Polly Barnfield OBE and Huw Bowen, delegates also heard from Mark Warrilow, Skills Stakeholder Manager – Phase 2 (Skills Employment and Education) at HS2 Ltd; Peter Storey, Head of Markham Vale at Derbyshire Country Council; Mark Jones, Head of Technical at Kier Living; Cllr Tony King, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, Derbyshire County Council and David Higham, Commercial Director at Learning Unlimited, part of the Chesterfield College Group.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 lockdown having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £33.60 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.






Latest news

Union hits out at East Midlands aerospace parts firm as 420 redundancies planned

Aerospace parts firm SPS Technologies "must not exploit the lockdown" to slash jobs and terms and conditions at its sites in Nottingham, Leicester and...

Streets focus on job and employment schemes in latest business update

Streets Chartered Accountants provide details of changes to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme including the introduction of flexible furlough in its latest business support update. As...

3 business tips for saving money during Coronavirus

Coronavirus has changed every business in the world. Whether you’ve been made to work remotely, put your staff on furlough, or redirected your resources into...

New ownership for Market Harborough ventilation, maintenance & hygiene company

System Hygienics, formerly the service arm of the Hotchkiss group - the largest duct manufacturer and installer in the UK – have new ownership,...

Construction of Kirkby’s new Leisure Destination takes a step closer

Plans to bring a new state-of-the-art leisure centre to Kirkby in Ashfield have taken another step forward. Ashfield District Council is seeking tenders from contractors...

Related news

Shared office spaces cautiously reopen

Many of the UK’s network of 5,000 shared office spaces are tentatively re-opening this month as more businesses return to the workplace as the...

Union hits out at East Midlands aerospace parts firm as 420 redundancies planned

Aerospace parts firm SPS Technologies "must not exploit the lockdown" to slash jobs and terms and conditions at its sites in Nottingham, Leicester and...

Streets focus on job and employment schemes in latest business update

Streets Chartered Accountants provide details of changes to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme including the introduction of flexible furlough in its latest business support update. As...

3 business tips for saving money during Coronavirus

Coronavirus has changed every business in the world. Whether you’ve been made to work remotely, put your staff on furlough, or redirected your resources into...

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close