In praise of Bedford’s indie retailers and an alternative Black Friday

From Goldings to All Ears, the Art Centre to the Picture Gallery, Bedford’s independent retailers are what set us apart from other towns. As town centres change, Bedford’s indies have shown incredible resilience in the face of austerity and adversity and they continue to thrive.

This year has seen the launch of Maysons’ incredible new store on the High Street, Rogan’s Books re-launched on Castle Lane and Close Encounters has new premises on Allhallows. Not to mention Kean & Co taking over the old Mayson’s unit in the Arcade, Seventh Heaven expanding, Slide Records and RollBack World opening new stores and Boutique Planet will shortly be moving into the former Kitchenalia space in the Arcade.

Of course, there are still empty shops, and there are some notable closures (Meatcure and Hanworths) that show that trading is tough, but overall investment from the independent sector demonstrates that Bedford is a great place to do business. And those empty units are opportunities for new businesses to open and thrive.

So this (Black) Friday, pledge to support them.

On Friday 24th November, while big businesses scrap over half price TVs and fake discounts, why not join the Just a A Card ‘Indie Friday‘ campaign?  The town centre will be bedecked with lights, all the Christmas trees will be be resplendent and Christmas will have been well and truly kicked off by the previous evening’s firework spectacular.

Make Friday the day that you visit GCH Fishmongers, pop in and say hello to Hannah at epanoui and grab a hot chocolate at Coffee with Art or brunch at Herd. Make it a social occasion and tag any photos #JACindiefriday

Because it’s not #justacard…



Editor of The Bedford Clanger, organiser behind BedPop, an events manager and a freelance copywriter

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