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Press Release: ‘Walters leads independent retailer map outreach’

Friday, July 19, 2019


Press Release: ‘Walters leads independent retailer map outreach’

A group of independent retailers in Oxford are teaming up to produce a virtual map to promote the alternative side of the city.

Spear-headed by the men’s wear store Walters of Oxford the map will be designed to guide visitors to independently owned and run businesses and create an interactive online community.

The management team at the historic Turl Street store, came up with the idea of the map to raise awareness of the “hidden gems in the city.”


Martin Neale, General Manager at Walters of Oxford, said:

“There’s so much here in Oxford that makes the city special and unique. It’s full of history and its important independent retailers that help make the city different are promoted and supported.

“A virtual map would serve as a guide to visitors to help people get the best out of their visit to the city and as a wider community space for retailers and customers to communicate.

“There won’t be any costs associated with this for people to get involved, we intend for it to grow organically and everyone is welcome to be a part of it.”

Walters of Oxford has been in the city for more than 160 years serving students, tourists and locals alike.

Mr Neale is proud the shop has retained its independence and of its dedication to providing customers with a personal service.

“Customer service and sharing knowledge is what we pride ourselves on,” he said.

“We always make sure customers are given the red-carpet treatment and believe in traditional service values.”

“We’re a family run business and have a people first approach and that reflects in how we treat each other and customers.”

The shop provides academic gowns, formal wear and sports club clothing, but also general men’s wear.

“While we are steeped in tradition, we do provide clothing and accessories for men of all ages and tastes and stock many great brands,” said Mr Neale.

“Our customers love the character of our shop and always tell us ‘never change’.”

Other independent retailers that have already agreed to feature on the virtual map include Payne and Son, Scriptum, Fresh Oxford, Turl Steet Kitchen, Shepherd and Woodward, and Missing Bean.

Mr Neale added: “We’re proud to be part of the fabric of Oxford, as are many other independent retailers, and we hope that by pulling together we can all be here for many more years to come.”

Angela Carroll, owner of Fresh Oxford believes independent small businesses are crucial to the vibrancy of choice for consumers and for environmental sustainability.

Fresh Oxford stocks clothing and accessories produced by niche British designers. It opened in 2000, sells everyday wear and specialises in outfits for special occasions.

Angela said: “If we don’t have independent stores customers won’t have the chance to see and own the sorts of products we stock.“

“Smaller designers tend to source their own material, and this supports ethical and sustainable trading. Additionally, we’re against ‘quick fashion’ in which people get rid of clothes quickly, we sell clothes that deserve to be worn again and again.“

“There is room for businesses of all sizes, but it is becoming harder for independents to make a profit.“

“People use the Covered Market because it is different, tourists like it because they can see and buy things they can’t at home and locals appreciate it as well.“

“Independent retailers are so important; they are all unique and that’s wonderful.”

Matthew Cox of Shepherd and Woodward said: “We are proud to have been an independent store in Oxford for more than 150 years. We are the largest supplier of Academic gowns and robes to the University of Oxford and provide wider menswear services.

“Supporting independent shops is crucial to preserving the character of Oxford.”

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