Shoppers give verdict on Rugby shops: town ‘improving but getting less good’

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SHOPPERS have given a mixed verdict on Rugby town centre.

While an increasing number believe it is a pleasant has a relaxed atmosphere, a growing minority feel the appearance and atmosphere has worsened.

A majority - 62 per cent - of those surveyed are still visiting the town centre as much as they were a year ago. Most of those visiting less frequently give a lack of shops and an insufficient variety of shops as the main reasons.

The research was carried out by independent firm IRN for Rugby First, whose job it is to attract shoppers to the town centre.

Aftab Gaffar, Rugby First’s Operations Director said: “I am delighted that we are continuing to maintain the high standards we set ourselves and welcome the report.

“We will obviously look at the results more closely and where we feel improvements need to be made will make them.”

Commenting on the changes to the general appearance and atmosphere of the town centre in the past 12 months, 60 per cent feel it has stayed the same compared to 62 per cent in 2011 and 55 per cent in 2010.

But more than a quarter - 26 per cent - state that things have deteriorated over the past 12 months, compared with 12 per cent in 2011, and 20 per cent in 2010.

Meanwhile, cleanliness and tidiness continue to score high. In October 2010, 61 per cent felt that the general cleanliness of the town centre was ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, but this has risen last year and this year to 76 per cent.. The percentage rating as ‘poor’ fell from 13 per cent in 2010 and 6 per cent in 2011 to 4 per cent in 2012.

Mr Gaffar added: “Once again the results show that the Rugby Rangers and cleaning team are key factors in improving and maintaining the high standards and I would like to thank them publicly for all their hard work.”

IRN interviewed 50 people by phone for the survey in October. They had each taken part in previous surveys. Each received a shopping voucher.