Traders in Porth, Mountain Ash, Treorchy and Aberdare have reported a number of benefits from participating in the Hop, Shop and Save scheme – which offers high street discounts to bus users thanks to a partnership between the Council and Stagecoach.
Hop, Shop and Save launched in Rhondda Cynon Taf during September 2018, providing residents and visitors to Town Centres in Pontypridd, Porth, Aberdare, Treorchy, Tonypandy, Ferndale and Mountain Ash the opportunity to save money in local shops. All they have to do to receive a discount of up to 20% is show their valid Stagecoach bus ticket to participating businesses.
Ken’s Barber Shop, at Pontypridd Road in Porth, is offering 20% off salon products through the scheme. Owner Kevin Robins said: “Since starting the Hop, Shop and Save scheme in March, people have come into the shop both with and without bus tickets to buy our hair products, after seeing the advertisements on the buses. Many of them have come in and loved the style and vibe of the shop, and a few have since become new clients.
“In total I have sold 28 products with a 20% discount when the customer produced a valid Stagecoach bus ticket, and many of these customers also had a haircut which has boosted my client numbers. I believe that the Hop, Shop and Save is having a positive effect on my business.”
Antiques Arena, at Oxford Street in Mountain Ash, is offering 20% off all antique items through Hop, Shop and Save. Owner Walter O’Neil said: “I have had over 40 customers who have presented a valid Stagecoach bus ticket upon purchase, since October last year. Roughly half of these have been brand new customers, and faces that I’ve never seen in my shop before.
“I have one weekly user who uses their 20% off discount with their bus ticket. I have had one customer who travelled all the way from the Rhondda valleys on the bus to my shop, just to get the 20% off discount. This particular customer purchased over £1,500-worth of products in two different visits to the town – within a fortnight of each other in December last year!
“I regularly hear people say they have seen my advert on the Stagecoach buses. The 20% discount is very popular with the gold and silver jewellery that I sell, as the majority of the time customers are saving hundreds of pounds. I have recently expanded my business and feel as though the Hop, Shop and Save scheme has contributed to my expansion.”
The Play Yard Treorchy, at Ynyswen Industrial Estate, is offering 20% off children’s play area entry and a meal in its café. Owner Nathan Howells said:“The scheme has been a resounding success in terms of increasing awareness of my business to a wider community, an increase in first-time customers and also an increase in repeat custom. I believe that for some of my customers, the fact they are able to use the Hop, Shop and Save scheme is the difference between making a trip to my business and not. As a parent myself, I appreciate how costly it can be to take your children out for the day, so the value and social impact of the scheme shouldn’t be under-estimated.
“On average, I have around 10 customers per week accessing the scheme and significantly higher numbers during the school holidays. In total, since I joined the scheme in January, I have given a discount to 294 customers who have presented a valid Stagecoach bus ticket. The support from Stagecoach and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council in particular has been fantastic, and I would urge all other local businesses to take up the opportunity to participate.”
Bradley’s Coffee, at High Street in Aberdare, is offering a 20% discount off hot drinks across all its locations (incl. Peppers Restaurant Aberdare and Talbot Green).The business has seen more than 250 customers present a valid Stagecoach bus ticket since September 2018 – and around 35% of these were new customers. Owner Jim Bradley said: “We have invested in the scheme because it makes sense on many levels; not least, it has opened encouragement to visit the High Street in a planet-saving way!”
Councillor Robert Bevan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Housing, added: “Attracting more visitors to our Town Centres continues to be a priority for the Council, and this unique scheme in partnership with Stagecoach gives an incentive for residents to shop locally. The experiences shared by local businesses suggests that Hop, Shop and Save is making a real difference within our communities.
“The scheme has many benefits – from boosting trade for local shops and for Stagecoach, to encouraging more people to visit Town Centres and promoting public transport as a more environmentally-friendly option than driving.
“Hop, Shop and Save is one of a number of ways we are trying to boost trade in our Town Centres – including the recently extended Town Centre Maintenance Grant to improve property fronts, free or reduced parking across all Council-owned Car Parks, and free public-access Wi-Fi which will be rolled out across Rhondda Cynon Taf over the course of this financial year.”
Posted on Thursday 1st August 2019