Call to extend shop hours in Sheffield city centre

City centre shoppers
City centre shoppers
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A key city centre retail manager is calling for extended evening shopping hours in Sheffield city centre.

Gavin Murray, manager of McDonald’s on High Street who is working on the city’s push for a Business Improvement District to be set up, says the area needs to take advantage of after-work footfall.

He said Sheffield ‘shuts down’ after 5pm and lacks an after-work community in the early evening and claims extended shopping hours would attract those leaving work and help the city thrive.

Mr Murray said: “We have a great opportunity to take advantage of people in the city centre in the evenings. It’s an opportunity we are missing at the moment.”

Sheffield Council said it would support the idea.

Mr Murray added: “Sheffield has developed into a beautiful city centre with loads to offer. The market is an amazing building which will be one of the best markets in the country – and I think the Moor is going to be brilliant when it’s finished.

“Every time I stick my head out of the door at 5pm there are loads of people around. But shops seem to be falling over themselves to close at 5pm or 5.30pm and people just go home.

“I think it lacks a bit of imagination. I was in Manchester recently and at 6.30pm there were so many shops still open it was untrue. At the northern quarter there were loads of people after work having a drink, it was buzzing.

“In Sheffield we don’t have that. There’s a lot of footfall and I think we should take advantage of that. I see so many people with nowhere to shop.”

Leigh Bramall, the council’s cabinet member for development, said: “We would fully endorse proposals from retailers to extend opening hours in Sheffield city centre.

“Thousands of commuters finish work in the city centre between 5pm and 6pm and if trading hours were extended until 6pm or 6.30pm, possibly opening later in the morning to compensate, a large proportion of those people would stay and shop after work as it’s convenient.”

Your view:

Hannah Beardon - “I would always shop in the centre and not Meadowhall, but it is hard to find the time when the shops and cafés all seem to close more or less as soon as you can get there after work or school. The chances of getting a cup of tea after 5 o’clock are pretty slim.”

Oliver Dartnell Machin - “I think it’s a good idea. I’ve been saying for years and so has my old man. They should.”

Boris q plerne - “Shops open later in November and December, and it’s only the last couple of weeks before Christmas where there is sufficient footfall to make it worthwhile.”

Will Boyce - “He’s right, after 5pm all that’s open is the odd coffee shop.”