I’ve spent my life dedicated to communication, helping business and people talk to each other.

Winchester, as a brand, says history, great architecture, friendly people, and culture. We often fail to convey that through our own marketing and instead focus on shopping.

Many towns have great shops, and if you’re looking for a unique variety, any number of local towns and cities spring to mind.

Southampton’s West Quay offers a great opportunity to get everything under one roof, through rain or shine. Salisbury has an enviable mix of independent and large retailers. The large concrete monstrosity in Basingstoke also offers everything a shopper could want.

Instead of adverts listing shop after shop in our city, we should really be focused on what makes Winchester such a pleasant place to spend money.

Our strength lies in our history, culture and people. We all used to visit our butcher, baker and grocer because they remembered our regular order, knew our lives inside out and could tailor make items to our exact order.

You can’t imagine that becoming a reality in WestQuay or Festival Place, but it’s possible in Winchester and really does still exist in some stores.

Research has been carried out that shows consumers miss a personal connection when out shopping, and that can only truly be fulfilled in a small city with independent retailers who can get to know customers.

We shouldn’t aim to become a modern city full of the biggest names. Our strength lies in not moving forward too fast.

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