Independent jeweller combats spike in car parking charges with customer incentive

Middlesborough-based independent, Hilliers Jewellers, has launched a new incentive to encourage customers to visit their store and lift footfall on the struggling high street.

When Middlesborough council recently hiked their parking charges at the Zetland site and scrapped free parking in other town centre car parks, jewellery store owner, Adam Hillier, noted a drop in trade almost straightaway.

He told Teesside Live: “The high street is on its knees, now we hear that Debenhams is closing stores. I complained when the council increased their all day fees at the Zetland from £1.60 to £2 – don’t get me wrong, it’s still pretty good, but we saw a negative effect straightaway.”

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To combat this challenge, Adam Hillier has come up with a customer incentive whereby the jewellery store will reimburse car parking fees of £3 if a customer spends a minimum of £5 in store.

Consumers will just need to show a proof of parking.

Hillier researched the average time people spend shopping in a town centre, and found it to be around two hours, so this incentive should cover the cost of their trip into down.

Hillier hopes other independents in the area with get on board and save the high street from a rapid decline.

The store owner shares: “I know it costs money to run the carparks – but that’s no good if there isn’t a town centre. Places like Teesside Park and the Metro Centre don’t charge because they want to encourage people to shop there. Something needs to be done to help the high street and this is the best solution I can think of – we also want to give something back to our customers.”

Hillier Jewellers on Linthorpe Road, is one of Middlesbrough’s longest-trading independents.

Adam and his brother Lewis are the second generation to manage the store, after their parents John and Eilieen opened in Hartlepool in 1979.

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