Half Term Trail Proves High Street is Alive

Businesses around the Bargate area of Southampton have been celebrating after Go! Southampton’s half term city centre trail brought hundreds of families through their doors

The “Half Term Family Balloon Hunt” sent children on a mission to seek out ten illuminated balloons hidden in locations on Hanover Buildings, Queensway, East Street and High Street.

During the one-week holiday, more than 1000 children and their parents descended on the ten participating businesses, which included coffee shops, an art supplies shop, an Italian restaurant and a department store.

Finishers of the trail were rewarded with a prize and given the chance to enter a colouring competition at the Mercure Dolphin Hotel with prizes donated by Smiggle.

The aim of the trail was to help local people to discover a different area of their city and at the same time drive new customers to BID levy payers.

Heidi Isa, Marketing and Events Director for the BID said

     “This is the fifth trail we have organised and the participants increase every time.  People simply enjoy coming into the city centre and discovering streets, shops and cafes that they had either never been to or had forgotten about, and the kids love the thrill of the mission.   It’s a simple model, but it works, and it shows people that Southampton’s city centre is very much alive.”

Phil Croucher, Store Manager at Forbidden Planet was pleased with the number of new faces he saw coming into the shop.

“Forbidden Planet and all our staff really loved taking part in the ‘Half Term Balloon Hunt’. It was great to see so many children involved. We hope that many of the families that hadn’t known we were here will return as potential customers in the future.”

Rice Up Wholefoods was another business taking part in the trail.  Dorothy Martin the Director said,

“We thought the Balloon Hunt went well and brought many more people into our shop that wouldn’t have necessarily normally shopped here. This was the first time we had taken part in a GO! Southampton event and we feel it has been very productive for us. We would be quite happy to be involved in future events in the city.”

The next trail will take place in the Easter Holidays and will focus on a different area of the city centre. Businesses will be contacted in early March about taking part.