MP back­ing in­de­pen­dent re­tail­ers


Sunderland Echo - - News - By Kevin Clark [email protected]­ Twit­ter: @kevinclarkjp

A Sun­der­land MP has dropped in on one of the city’s old­est fam­ily-run shops to show her sup­port for Small Busi­ness Satur­day.

Sun­der­land Cen­tral MP Julie El­liott paid a visit to Reynolds Out­door Cen­tre, which has been do­ing busi­ness in the city cen­tre for more than 150 years.

The Der­went Street shop, which sells army sur­plus cloth­ing, as well as out­door wear, ac­ces­sories and win­ter sports equip­ment, is one of a num­ber of in­de­pen­dent re­tail­ers that has ben­e­fited from Small Busi­ness Satur­day, when shop­pers are en­cour­aged to pay a visit to the lo­cally-run busi­nesses on their doorstep.

Julie met with An­thony Reynolds, who took over the run­ning of the shop from his father, be­fore pay­ing a visit to Park Lane mar­ket, which has seen many of its units taken over by in­de­pen­dent re­tail­ers – in­clud­ing Reynolds – as part of Sun­der­land Busi­ness Im­prove­ment Dis­trict(BID)’s Christ­mas ac­tiv­i­ties.

“Busi­nesses like Reynolds Out­door Cen­tre are the cor­ner­stone of Sun­der­land’s re­tail scene – we have so many fan­tas­tic in­de­pen­dent busi­nesses that bring vi­brancy to our city cen­tre,” said Julie. “How­cen­tre,” said Julie. “How­ever, these busi­nesses only sur­vive with the sup­port of peo­ple here, so it’s great to get out and learn more about some of the fan­tas­tic re­tail­ers we have on the doorstep.

“Small Busi­ness Satur­day is a timely re­minder to ‘shop lo­cal’, and en­sure that busi­nesses like Reynolds are here for decades to come.”

Reynolds Out­door Cen­tre first opened its doors in 1860, as an army sup­plies store, which – at the time – sold cloth­ing for the thou­sands of work­ers who flocked to the mines and ship­yards in the area.

An­thony is the fifth gen­er­a­tion to take to the helm: “Sun­der­land was a very dif­fer­ent place when the busi­ness got started,” he said.

“We have a loyal cus­tomer base, but of course, it’s al­ways great when days like Small Busi­ness Satur­day en­cour­age more peo­ple to come and see what we are about.

“With more and more peo­ple turn­ing to in­ter­net shop­ping, it can be tough for in­de­pen­dent busi­nesses that rely on cus­tomers com­ing into store, so Small Busi­ness Satur­day is an im­por­tant day for us.”

Sharon Ap­pleby, head of busi­ness op­er­a­tions at the BID, said: “Small Busi­ness Satur­day is a great op­por­tu­nity to show­case not just the mar­ket, but to also flag up the re­ally strong in­de­pen­dent re­tail­ers that we have.”

An­thony Reynolds and fa­ther Peter Reynolds, with Julie El­liott MP.

Julie El­liott MP (left) with Sharon Ap­pleby of Sun­der­land BID.

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