It’s been a long time, but at last Hereford along with the rest of the country is opening the doors as shopping and shops can open up – the pleasure of shopping is allowed once again.

Hereford has a remarkable range of independent specialist stores and we ask three of them for their thoughts and views on the city and future plans. With a combined total of 390 years of business life in the city, these three retailers are collaborating to promote the city and their own businesses, welcoming back customers and assuring them of a safe and secure return.

John Jones at Philip Morris

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‘We’re convinced Hereford is well placed to bounce back strongly as normality returns. It’s a great City to live in, the sort of City that those now working from home permanently will choose for relocation. We’ve got a thriving local food scene, that people are desperate to get back to. It’s also a great place to come on a staycation, giving us the prospect of a strong summer of trading. Most importantly we’ve got more independent shops that most destinations, less of which have closed than the multiples over the last 12 months. As people increasingly look to local for their shopping, we really see Hereford as a strong destination, with a great mix that people can really enjoy visiting’.

Whilst the pandemic has been challenging, all of us at Philip Morris & Son are hugely excited about re-opening, seeing customers again, and continuing our 175 year journey. Like many local businesses one of the keys to our longevity is our willingness to continually evolve to meet customer needs and expectations. By evolving we’ve been able to grow during the pandemic, through an increased focus on our internet business and Click & Collect.

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The pandemic has also presented the opportunity for us to expand into an adjoining premises in Widemarsh Street. This will allow us to re-open with an increased size and quality of retail floor space, offering better access and a better experience for our customers, and the new departments including shoes and children clothing. It’s undoubtably been a hard 12 months, but there are a lot of signs that there are reasons to be positive about the next 12 months.

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Mark Trepte from Trekitt

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Trekitt has been in Hereford for over 30 years and we now find ourselves serving a second generation of outdoor enthusiasts with the best outdoor clothing and equipment we can find. When we re-open we are running an appointment system which worked so well on the last lifting of lockdown that we felt it would be the best way to service our customers this spring. All you have to do is go to www.trekitt.co.uk and book an appointment, we are open Tuesday to Saturday. This offers a safe environment and as a destination shop we can give you excellent one to one advice if needed.

Independent businesses in Hereford offer something different from the usual chain store dominated High Street, quality and choice couple with excellent service and advice, we really do offer our customers an alternative. We have also built our online business up to be a leading independent outdoor retailer in the UK, but we still have our roots in Hereford and our shop in Eign Gate is our flagship service centre.

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Edward Pritchard, Pritchards Menswear

Hereford Times: Luke Turner, Edward Pritchard, Caleb Brown of PritchardsLuke Turner, Edward Pritchard, Caleb Brown of Pritchards

Edward Pritchard of Pritchards menswear in King Street said “having had the city quiet for so long seemed strange and unnatural. We love a bustling and busy city centre. As the market town within our county, it was always the central destination for shopping, social and commerce. Our business has come through these difficult times and we cannot wait for April 12th to welcome everybody back. New deliveries have filled the shelves and rails with spring themed clothing, formal and casual. We are sure that everyone is planning a get together whether that is a wedding, a social occasion, eating out, and with holidays on the horizon our social lives can restart. We are all set to show off collections from Paul Smith, Belstaff, Gant, Hackett, Fred Perry and many more, ready to tempt those who have been in denial. Bring on the spring.

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