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Putting themselves in the shop window

Stratforward director Joseph Baconnet with Dr Nick Grey, from Grey's Opticians, which was the joint winner of the best independent shop window prize. (Submitted photo)
Stratforward director Joseph Baconnet with Dr Nick Grey, from Grey's Opticians, which was the joint winner of the best independent shop window prize. (Submitted photo)

THE winners of the Christmas shop window competition in Stratford-upon-Avon have been announced.

Florist Hidden Garden in Red Lion Court, off Bridge Street, and Dr CP Grey Opticians on Chapel Streetwere the joint winners of the prize for best independent retailer, while Lakeland on Henley Street was named best national shop.

Each received a trophy and a certificate.

Compton and Clarke on Henley Street and Meer Street businesses Vinegar Hill and Something Different were also highly commended by the judges from Stratforward BID.

All businesses in the town centre with street-facing windows were automatically entered in the Stratforward-organised competition, which this year had the theme of Festive Sparkle.

Judging took place earlier this month, looking at the three criteria of overall impact, traditional style and effort involved.

Stratforward director, Joseph Baconnet, said: "I cannot emphasise how important dressing windows for Christmas is. The more we make the town feel festive the more people will be attracted to come here and spend time and money.

"We have to do everything we can to encourage shoppers into town rather than sit at home and buy online.

"The judges were blown away by the efforts gone to by the independent businesses in particular. Undertaking a Christmas window takes time, money and effort but as anyone can see when walking round the town it makes a massive difference. Well done to everyone."

Dr Christopher Grey, optometrist at Grey’s Opticians on Chapel Street, said: “We’re over the moon, we’re obviously delighted. I can’t take the credit, a young lady called Grace Wheeler did it and she is brilliant.

"We give her carte blanche to do what she wants and she comes up with the goods.

“We have got big windows that lend themselves well to a great display. The competition is a great idea, it encourages people to decorate their windows and make an effort.”

Sam Bush, from Hidden Garden in Red Lion Court, said their displays, depicting several festive scenes, were planned months in advance and they’re already full of ideas for next year, including Mr and Mrs Claus’ wedding, or Father Christmas’s workshop.

“My wife and son come up with the ideas but they’re very particular, so I make it, then they change it, so I make it again,” he said.

“I don’t like to do things half-hearted, so we really do put a lot of effort in.”

Wendy Holloway, team leader at Lakeland, said: “The team at Lakeland are delighted to have won this competition, they are all very excited.

She gave special credit to Jenny Fawkner, who was behind the Henley Street store’s displays.

“It’s great to be involved in something like this during the festive season. And to win is a wonderful end to the year.”

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