Friday, March 24, 2023

Experts in to brighten shop fronts in Grays

THURROCK Council has launched a new scheme aimed at boosting the image and viability of High Street businesses in Thurrock.

The project – funded through the Low Carbon Business programme – will be run by retail skills consultancy Vision On and, over a six week period, they will work with two dozen businesses to increase the visual merchandising skills and confidence of the owners.

Training will take place in-store and will cover low-carbon improvements to window displays and interior store layout.

Those taking part will learn about a range of issues, from the key principals of effective window display, through to the importance of commercial layout and how to change the way that customers shop – all with the aim of lowering carbon emissions and increasing the sustainability.

Cllr Andy Smith, regeneration portfolio holder at Thurrock said: “We shouldn’t underestimate the importance of our town centres for residents.

“With retail businesses everywhere suffering, it’s good to see that here in Thurrock we’re doing what we can to help our high streets.”

And Susan Williams, founder of Vision On, added: “The overall aim of the scheme is to improve the appearance and services of Thurrock’s High Streets by working directly with the businesses that operate there.

“By teaching owners new skills, it enables them to better run their stores and increase footfall and profits.

“It’s a sustainable approach to making the High Streets a better and more vibrant place to visit – so it affects everyone.”

Vision On will start the project by canvassing; engaging directly with the business owners to build relationships and generate interest in the programme.

The scheme follows a successful shop-front improvement project that ran over the Christmas period and saw 13 retailers in Grays receive training to improve their business and merchandising skills.

One of the many stores to benefit was Grays Convenience. Having learned about ways to highlight the store’s strengths and promote its ethnic goods to targeted customers, owner Sathi Yamohan said: “I found the in-store coaching beneficial to my business; advice on signage and technology was very useful.”

Aquatics and reptiles specialists The Trop Shop also received help from Vision On covering everything from displays and signage through to offers via social media platforms.

Since the training, The Trop Shop has made several changes to the point of sale area and improved signage to the reptile shop on the second floor.

If you run a local High Street business and would like to be part of the programme, contact Jo White at Vision On on 07799 713 770 to find out more about getting involved.


  1. Whilst this is good news in once sense I fail to see what a difference this will make to Grays Town Center which is so far in decline that people are starting to avoid the area.


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