Boost for Struggling Fulham Road Shop Owners

'I Love Fulham' card scheme brings new hope

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An 'I Love Fulham' loyalty card scheme is giving new hope to shop owners in Fulham Road aiming to revive flagging trade.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council is supporting a three month trial of the loyalty campaign by funding production of the cards as well as accompanying promotional posters and leaflets.

The council will also provide a link to information on participating shops and discounts from its Visit Fulham website.

Young Fulham entrepreneur Will Scott-Dalgleish, 25, masterminded the loyalty card and pitched his idea to a meeting of Fulham Road traders on March 31.

Shop owners at the meeting were unanimous in their support for the project, and Will is confident the loyalty card would be up and running by the start of May.

" We’re looking to involve about 30 businesses on the card initially, and it will cover quite a variety of different shops so the card will really be worth picking up," he says.

About 45 people attended the traders’ meeting at the Wheatsheaf Pub, to exchange ideas on how they could boost trade among the independent shops of Fulham Road.

Small businesses along the road have been worst hit by the recession, and some admit they are teetering on the brink of closure. A florist at the meeting reported her sales had dropped by as much as 75 per cent in recent months.

Will, who co-owns the Dance Attic Café in nearby North End Road with Poppy Corbet Burcher, says swift action is needed.

"There are lots of independent stores along Fulham Road, but something needs to be done pretty quickly or the area is going to change dramatically," he says.

The I Love Fulham card will be freely available to customers in the stores taking part, and will give them access to a range of discounts.

Manager of the Parson’s Nose butcher’s shop Serena Turle, who organised the traders' meeting, says the scheme will also encourage traders to band together and recommend each others' businesses to customers.

Cllr Frances Stainton, cabinet member for culture and heritage, says: "It is going to be an exciting few months for Fulham. I am sure that the loyalty card will rejuvenate local businesses and this summer’s annual Fulham Festival will also prove to be memorable."

I Love Fulham loyalty cards will be available from stores from the start of May.

April 20, 2009