One of Derry’s best known art shops has scooped the annual best dressed Christmas window award.
Owner of ‘We Do Art’ on Gt James Street Paul O’Doherty says he is delighted to have taken top honours in the Derry City Council organised competition.
“We were delighted to pick up the award as we are very conscious of the importance of visual merchandising, and it’s something we place emphasis on all year round as customers can see from our shop front.
“We are always coming up with new ideas and it’s something that we recommend all traders should focus on in order to boost business.”
Bureau on Carlisle Road, Master Clean on Spencer Road and Blue Bells Florist, Butcher Street were named runners up in the competition which aims to highlight the importance of visual merchandising within the city.
The council’s Visual Merchandising Mentor Joe Carlin says he and fellow judges - Maoliosa Boyle from Void Gallery, and local musician SOAK - had a tough time assessing the competition this year as more shops are becoming aware of the value of visual marketing ahead of the 2013 City of Culture year.
“We want to get the message across that shops don’t have to spend a lot of money to enhance their premises visually, and it can be essential in getting the customer through the door for the first time.
“So while of course there is a fun aspect to this, there is a serious focus on equipping local businesses with the tools they need to stand out and improve footfall in shopping areas.
“We want to show that the businesses of this city are standing in solidarity throughout our culture year, and what we can collectively achieve as a city in making our mark on the map. But we are also aware that retailers want to maximise their own potential and really stand out, and the winners of this competition demonstrate what can be accomplished with a bit of imagination and know how.”
A special workshop ins planned for early 2013 aimed at giving businesses advice on how to give their premises a makeover.
For more information on the Business Opportunities programme and to find out how you can sign up for a workshop, contact the Business Opportunities Team at www.derrycity.gov.uk/businessopportunities, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephone 7136 5151.