Late night shopping has been introduced in Horwich in a bid to keep the high street alive and bustling.

Horwich businesses called an emergency meeting early last month after seeing a worrying drop in footfall.

And one of the measures put forward was to open shops until later.

It was trailled last Thursday.

Shops including but not limited to Flowersmiths, Active Dancewear, Fine Yarns, Handmade Hollow, Just Gorjuss Cakes and Lee Lane Pet Store took part in the later opening hours, remaining open until 7pm on Thursday, April 28.

Maxine Smith, owner of florist Flowersmiths,said: “Yes it went well, the shop was busy. I spoke to other shopkeepers too and it seemed it went well for them as well.”

The Bolton News: Traders previously came together to discuss footfall in Horwich. From left to right: Melanie Andrews, Bridie Tonge, Jill Charleston, Donna Magnes of Gorjuss Cakes, Maxine Smith, and Helen HeywoodTraders previously came together to discuss footfall in Horwich. From left to right: Melanie Andrews, Bridie Tonge, Jill Charleston, Donna Magnes of Gorjuss Cakes, Maxine Smith, and Helen Heywood

She believes the later opening times will help curb the downturn in footfall, saying: “Footfall definitely slowed down after Covid, so something needed to change.

Major change on Horwich high street to entice customers back

“We asked on local Facebook pages what people would like to see, and they suggested these alternative opening times.”

Maxine added: “People who work during the day then can come in after.”

She believes that it can become a regular occurrence, which gives more choice for shoppers.

The Bolton News: Flowersmiths in Horwich.Flowersmiths in Horwich.

She said: “If we can turn it into a regular thing, it gives people more places to go to and encourages more shops in Horwich to join us.”

Maxine said the businesses were planning on having a late-opening night once a month but she is wary to do it more regularly just yet.

She said: “We haven’t discussed making it more regular yet, as regularity might dilute the people who would come monthly.

“But if there were a demand for it then I’m sure we could.”

This follows an emergency meeting being called by the businesses, due to the reduction in customers.

They met to discuss how they would overcome the challenges facing them, which is where the idea of late-night shopping was raised.

The next late night shopping in Horwich will be on Thursday, May 26.