Love Bedford is spreading the news

Published on 06 February 2018

Start spreading the news: Bedford’s footfall numbers have rocketed in the last full week in January.

After a national on-line diversion during December, when busy families took deliveries at home, visitors are back in the town centre with a massive increase compared to the same period in 2017

2018 UP 8.8% in Bedford

compared to a fall of 0.4% across UK

That last week (Jan 22nd - 28th) increase was fuelled by a massive surge on the January pay day weekend

Sunday up +40%

Friday up +24%

and the biggest “actual” numbers still coming in on a Saturday

Christina Rowe, Director of BedfordBID said: “Bedford rallied in the last weekend before Christmas with people popping and shopping for all those last minute items for the Yuletide and New Year. Like all towns we had been hit earlier in December with the on-line shopping trend, but now Christmas is over, the visitors are back .

“Free parking is an element, but that has to be promoted as part of an attractive offer which is exactly what the Love Bedford brand does for town centre businesses.

“Bedford Business Improvement District (BID) which finances all the Love Bedford activity through contributions by town centre levy-payers. We promote Bedford to audiences far and wide.”

As one of the original town centre BIDs, Bedford has pioneered a range of activities which other BIDs now follow - such as the customer research programme.

“Its success is one of many and well documented with visitor numbers bucking the national trend as a result of multi-media campaigns BedfordBID has developed over the years.  

“Understanding who our potential customers are, is part of a unique initiative the BedfordBID embarked upon with market leaders Shopper Anonymous to help shape longer term visioning for town centre growth and prosperity.

“BedfordBID commissioned an industry first with Shopper Anonymous who have conducted thousands of interviews and feedbacks to provide the most authoritative programme of research in the BID industry.  

“This is a further demonstration of the pioneering spirit of the BedfordBID team who were one of the first Business Improvement Districts introduced in 2005; now there are over 290 following this model including Central Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Northampton and many other surrounding towns.”

To find out more about BedfordBID visit 

Shopper Anonymous consultant is Graham Hill. Here he is speaking at the BedfordBID Business Breakfast at the launch of the 2017 Christmas campaign. 

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