AS CHRISTMAS draws near, shoppers of North Wales are being urged to support their local independent businesses if they don’t want to lose them.

Traders of Earl Road in Mold are making the call in order to encourage people away from major retail parks and online sellers and back onto the high street.

Katy Duplock, owner of Dawnsio Dance and formerly of the Party Shop in Mold, said: “People do go online a lot of the time but I have started to see a bit of a shift because we have a a lot of campaigns about shopping local.

“We have had some people come in and tell us they want to shop local, so it has started to change a little bit.

“But we need more customers and more people to learn about the benefits of supporting small businesses.

“We’re not massive shops that can afford to lose custom - we need people on the high street.

“We’re very lucky to have a great selection of shops in Mold but if people start shopping online all the time we’re going to lose them.

“Even if everyone were to spend just £5 in the shops, that would help.”

Describing the impact internet shopping has had on town centre trade, she continued: “We’re not seeing the footfall like we used to.

“Mold used to be a really busy town - now it is quieter because people are staying at home on their computers.”

But shopping online is a completely different experience to actually visiting a shop, she said.

“I think the difference is the service,” she said.

“Children love the experience of coming into the shop and getting their first ballet outfit.

“They can try them on here and not have to send them back somewhere.

“I’ve seen many dancers grow from children to teenagers while I have been here and they always come back to me.

“I feel like a lot of my customers become friends and they all love the experience of coming into the shop.”

Miss Duplock said she would also encourage more women to take the plunge and open their own businesses.

She added: “I am really proud to be a woman in business and it is great to see so many ladies in Earl Road.

“We’re like a little community and we look after each other’s shops.

“If we don’t have something the customer wants, we can pass them on to the others.

“I’d definitely encourage more women to do it - I think you’ve just got to go for it.”

Anne Aukland, of Yarn O’Clock, said: “When the Yarn Shop - which I had worked in for 10 years - closed, I saw an opening in the North Wales area.

“Fortunately 2 Earl Road became available at the right time.

“The Earl Road businesses are very supportive and we have a fantastic rapport.”

Speaking of the importance of supporting local traders, she explained: “Shopping local means supporting the local economy. If you shop in the right places, you’re supporting local suppliers too.

“It keeps the town centre alive - if we lose them it is just going to be the big retailers left and it will be a monopoly for them.

“We really are independent in the true sense as well - we’re here every day running the business from the shop floor.”

She said the independent traders also bring visitors to the town thanks to their unique offering, adding: “We have yarn tourists, for example.

“They look at our website and they come in. I don’t sell online, I prefer the personal touch.

“It is easier to show people the colour.

“I am proud Mold still has a lot of independent businesses.”

Amanda Smith, of Amanda’s Fabrics, said: “I started working on markets in Ruthin, Oswestry and Llangollen as well as local craft fairs and shows.

“There was definitely a market for my type of business.

“As an independent owner, you have to make your own decisions - this can be great, but also hard work too.

“I think a lot of independent businesses bring more people into the town.

“If more independent shops come to Mold, I think we will have even more footfall.

“I have been in Mold for five years and I am in a great position here.”

Speaking of the advantages of visiting a shop over buying online, she added: “It’s good because you can give people your ideas and we can talk about the projects they’re doing.

“They can see the quality of the fabrics as well, which you can’t do online.”

Karen Norton, of the Good Health Emporium, said: “My mum started this business in 1988 and I came to work here for her in 1995.

“Then we ran it together and I took over in 2018. My mum still works here.

“There is a lot less footfall in the town centre now, which makes planning and buying more difficult.

“But Earl Road is the best place to work, with lots of camaraderie.

“I think the atmosphere of the town centre is important - it is lovely to walk around and the independent shops are more interesting and different to online shopping.”

Joanna Douglass, business and regeneration officer at Mold Town Council, said: “In Mold we have a wide range of independent shops, shopping locally even just spending £5 a week can make a huge difference to the local economy here and to our community.

“I would encourage people to shop locally here in Mold, and especially as we approach Christmas and looking for gift ideas.

“The independent shops here provide a personalised service, something unique and different, the ultimate in a thoughtful gift for someone. Shopping locally supports our independents and all the benefits stay local.

“Mold celebrates Christmas with a series of events - November 26 is the Christmas light switch-on with choirs, town band, Father Christmas together with local food and craft stalls.

“December 1 sees the Festive Market on the High Street, Daniel Owen Square and the Daniel Owen centre with craft and gift stalls.

“December 8 is the Santa Dash, 1.4mile fun dash/walk, £10 to enter and includes Santa suit. Kids under 12 are free to enter. Santa and his float will also be out and about around town in December.

“Come and see for yourself, combine your shopping trip some with something to eat and drink we have a range of wonderful venues and see why Mold has been shortlisted for the Great British High Street awards.”

For further information on the events, contact Mold Town Council on 01352 758532 or email