Shop Romford campaign launched to protect Havering retailers from threat of Westfield

A campaign has been launched to put the ‘heart and soul’ back into Romford shopping centre in a bid to protect it from the threat of Westfield Stratford.

Called Shop Romford, it is the brainchild of Havering Council and Romford’s four main shopping areas and is set to start later this month.

Leader of Havering Council, Michael White said: “Romford is already one of London’s great retail centres with high street shops and big brand stores mixed with independent retailers and an historic market.

“This is what makes it different to these mega-malls, Romford is a town centre not just a shopping centre, it has character and individuality, a heart and soul.”

The campaign is set to see billboards installed in car train panels, bus rear adverts, poster sites and in parks advertising the Mercury Mall, The Liberty and the Brewery shopping centres.

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It will also include an advertising push to Romford’s historic market, the 400 shops, cafes and restaurants.

Cllr White said: “We want to keep Romford different to these giant shopping malls and we encourage everyone to come to Romford to experience a real town centre.”

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Romford market trader, Jenny Robertson welcomed the move but said that it still didn’t go far enough.

She said: “I think the idea of the campaign is good but they are still not doing what they should be because the campaign should have put more emphasis on the market.

“They are only advertising to the local people in nearby boroughs but they need to try to make people further afield aware of the market because they need to entice people that are going to be coming for London 2012.”

Keith Brown, the development manager of the Essex Federation of small businesses said: “The good news is that while this campaign has been launched in the run up to Christmas it is not a one off as further campaigns are planned for 2012 which will help Romford compete against Westfield.

“Shop owners and managers also need to do their part to make the Havering shopping experience one which customers want to keep enjoying.”

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