Traders in Shrewsbury are staying positive and opening late to give shoppers as much time as possible to buy their Christmas gifts before the latest lockdown. 

Business owners in Wyle Cop have got together to launch a last-minute late-night Wednesday, with most shops on the street staying open until 7pm, and Shrewsbury Market Hall is open until 8pm on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Shrewsbury BID (Business Improvement District) says many of its members are planning to extend their opening hours before the enforced closure of non-essential shops comes into force on Thursday. 

Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID, said: “Whilst there is a general acceptance of the lockdown, business owners are understandably very disappointed at having to close their doors once again – especially at such an important time of year. 

“However, everyone is trying to keep a positive attitude and businesses are coming together to once again adapt their plans at very short notice. 

“I know a lot of shops are turning Tuesday and Wednesday into late-night shopping events so people can come into town and buy Christmas gifts, and indeed anything else they may need, before the shops close on Wednesday evening. 

“The Government has said that shops can continue to operate a collection service, and a lot of traders will be offering click and collect, so we are urging people to continue to support their local town centre in the run-up to Christmas. 

“It’s important to remind people to observe social distancing rules, wear face coverings and use hand sanitiser when visiting the town centre.” 

Stacey Hill, owner of Oberon in Wyle Cop, said traders quickly decided to extend their opening hours this week. 

“We are just doing whatever we can to give people the opportunity to support their local traders,” she said. 

“Everyone has been really good about the safety measures, we all have hand sanitiser on the door and are limiting customer numbers in the shops, so it is a safe shopping experience. 

“Like many shops, we will be running a collection service for as long as we can’t actually open, and we hope people will continue to buy their Christmas gifts from traders here in Shrewsbury.”