Last week an article in the Financial Times gave Stockport a pretty hard time, taking words from an interview out of context to suits its own pre-determined words for an article looking at ‘Black Friday’.
Who cares about Black Friday? Seemingly the media who are intent on stirring up a post-Thanksgiving frenzy. I wonder if the shoppers across the pond put such emphasis on the Boxing Day sales?
It’s hardly news that town centres are losing out to online shops and large retail parks / shopping malls but Stockport is fighting back!
Events such as Stockport’s Foodie Friday have brought new visitors into the town and boosted the evening economy.
Stockport has always been a good place to live, work, do business and visit. Marketing Stockport has have been proud to put the spotlight on Stockport.
But last week’s non-too complimentary article in the Financial Times – obviously written by someone who is not in touch with the town’s ambitions but rather a journalist intent on misinterpreting all the great works underway in Stockport – both from a business and a community perspective. We would be happy to challenge those misconceptions!
Last month Marketing Stockport celebrated its 4th birthday and, as we look back to 2012, it is very clear that Stockport and its business community is in a very different place now.
In fact, Stockport has never been in a better position to go from good to great: £2 billion is being invested in projects within the immediate vicinity: £1bn is to transform Manchester Airport, the UK’s 3rd largest airport just minutes away and Stockport Council’s £1bn regeneration of the town centre is well underway, contributing to a new look Stockport and a developing night-time economy.
As has been widely read, but not by the FT it seems, businesses within the heart of the town centre voted in favour of Stockport’s BID – creating a Business Improvement District – generating an additional £2.5m of funds over the next 5 years. Funds that will be used to to re-ignite the town: to improve the customer experience, to put on more events and improve the marketing of the town.
Stockport – like many towns – has had to reinvent itself in the light of competition from out-of-town retail areas, online shopping and being in close proximity to a thriving city.
Last week Stockport Council’s CEO, Eamonn Boylan, was forced to publicly apologise when his words were taken out of context.
The support the business community have received from Eamonn Boylan and the proactive approach the council takes to developing and securing the future success of the borough is a great example of how the private sector and the public sector are working together to improve the whole offering for everyone, for now and in the future.
Take note FT!
Words by Helen White – co-founder and director of Marketing Stockport