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2016 – This Is what I’d Like To See Happen In Altrincham In 2016

As this is now the 4th year of our 5 Things I’d Like To See Happen In Altrincham in … blogs – it’s worth a recap as to the ideas we’ve put out into the ether

Altrincham George Street

Altrincham George Street

2013 –
We start selling Our Unique Story / Businesses Start Collaborating & Creating Partnerships / Traditional Businesses Get More Social / That end of George Street is sorted out / Once Businesses Leave You Don’t Send People Out Of  Town or Online – read our ideas in full here

Mobile Phone Charging Points

2014 – Remember Altrincham Is More Than Just The Confines of The Town Centre / Events, Events, Events and some more Events Please / Social Media is taken To The Next Level & Businesses Really Look at ROI (Return On Investment) / B2B and B2C Communities learn to work & support each other for the betterment of the community / We introduce Mobile Charging Points and become a more Tech Friendly Town – read our ideas in full here

2015 –
Mobile Phone Charging Points & Free Wifi Become The Norm Across Altrincham Town Centre / The Old McDonalds Building Comes Back Into Use / Local Businesses Get Better At Marketing / More New Business Offerings For Men in Altrincham / The Market Quarter Is Linked Up With Other Areas Of Altrincham – read our ideas in full here

Some have happened, some are in progress, some are on the backburner just long enough for the council to present it as their own idea once time has passed 😉

Here are our ideas for this year

5 Things I’d Like To See Happen In Altrincham In 2016

We Love Altrincham
1. People Think About What They Share Online
Read these words slowly and then repeat – You Are What You Share Online

How many times have you been happy to talk online about a business closing … but never talk about the businesses you love in Altrincham?

How often do you share a local crime story … but don’t share when a local person wins an award / achieves something amazing ?

How many times have you visited a restaurant, but only left a (negative) TripAdvisor review on the 1 bad experience out of 15 you had?

How many times do you talk about lack of events in Altrincham – yet don’t share online when a community event happens?

How many times have you left a snarky comment on facebook about Altrincham being rubbish – which then discourages others from coming into town!

What percentage of your online output is bitching?

We’re not expecting people to bury their heads in the sand and ignore the negatives – just yesterday on NYE we tweeted about a business moving out of Altrincham town centre, but in the same day we shared and shouted about 10+ businesses doing  great things

Simply use the same freedom of speech to talk about the positives in Altrincham as you exercise to talk about the negatives

Marketing Matters
2. Altrincham Businesses Care Enough To Share

The Festive Period was summed up by local businesses not caring enough to market their business

– A large majority of residents did not know there was even late night Christmas Shopping on in Altrincham – those that did know we’re bemused that businesses seemed to be closing at different times in the same shopping centre

– 89% of voters in a Twitter Poll we ran thought local pubs / bars did not do enough to let them know about New Years Eve Events

If we’re asking the people of Altrincham to think about what they share online – we must ask businesses to have a marketing plan based on creating 1. Awareness and 2. A positive experience

Virtually every Altrincham business that closed in 2015 saw facebook comments from local residents saying they never knew the business existed until it’s closure was announced

In order to create a climate where People Think About What They Share Online, we must create a climate that local businesses care enough to market their business and therefore encourage people to shop local, eat local and drink local

Grafton Mall
3. Grafton Mall Comes Back Into Usage
You might have seen our post in mid December about Nail Art / Kalpana Shah moving from Grafton Mall to the old Phillips Newsagent on George Street in January

When it goes later this month it means Grafton Mall will be 100% empty units

Grafton Mall has always been an integral part of Altrincham from the days of the Red Balloon & Beaties, the music shops Omega Records and Music Zone, the cafes such as The Drop Inn and Rhode Island (the latter now on George Street). It  was a part of Altrincham that attracted everyone from young kids to pensioners

When we announced news of it’s impending 100% empty unit rate people told us of rumours of it turning into one big store ala Home Bargains. Other people suggested it should be a food court ala The Orient or Manchester Arndale food court

Either way it’s a part of Altrincham that should come back into usage rather than being a wasteland

Altrincham BID
4. Altrincham BID starts to have some real wins

After the debate of is it a a RID or a BID – Now that businesses of Altrincham have Voted Yes, 2016 will be the year that the Altrincham Bid has to have some real wins to prove it can be a long term success

The 1st stage for the BID will appointing a BID Manager, the BID Board / Directors and the BID Advisory Groups before the official launch in April 2016

The key to the BIDs success is going to be getting a team together with real business acumen rather than, for want of a better phrase, well intentioned fools

It’s also important that the BID focuses on that key word: Improvement – the act of improving or the state of being improved – rather than become a replacement for things already done by Trafford Council / Altrincham Forward

Businesses will be looking for the ROI (Return On Investment) of the Altrincham BID – it’s important that by the end of the 2016 business have seen an ROI or at the very least signs of ROI from the BID

5. We Get Successful Openings In Altrincham Rather Than Short Term Openings

When people in Altrincham say we need more businesses in Altrincham – what they often mean is they want successful businesses in Altrincham

Over the next month it’s likely we will see a fresh wave of New Year closures as bills pile up

While short term openings often make great PR initially for the town their closures are often talked about more extensively affecting negative perceptions of the town

Over the years there have been constant requests from residents for international chains like Nandos and Primark as well as more independent shoes shops, mens shops – in fact anything apart from more coffee shops in the main

But we’d like to see more businesses open in Altrincham that we’ll eventually get to celebrate their 3rd / 5th / 10th Birthday


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Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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