Businesses in Edinburgh’s West End have joined forces in a rapid response to keep seasonal trade alive in the wake of heightened coronavirus concerns.
Shops, venues and attractions in the area would normally expect to be busy into the New Year as people flock to the capital for festive celebrations.
But with Scottish Government guidelines on mass gatherings from December 27 meaning that Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations cannot go ahead – and some people nervous about shopping amid the spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant – members of business association Edinburgh West End have worked together and acted fast to enhance their online offering.
It is staging an Online Christmas and New Year Market – and is encouraging city residents to choose local for last-minute gifts.
An Edinburgh West End spokesman said: “Many small retailers are also stocked up with seasonal goods in anticipation of a last -minute Christmas rush towards this festive weekend.
“Now they have to rely much more on their online stores and appeal to customers through all digital channels.
“Many small businesses already have their own e-commerce websites, so the official Edinburgh-WestEnd.co.uk website has been adapted to create an Online Christmas Market” for last-minute shoppers.
“This allows festive shoppers to explore a variety of Christmas gift ideas from a range of retailers all in one place, then buy directly from any one of them.
“People are being urged to remember the #ThinkLocal , #ChooseLocal and #LoveLocal messages from the Scotland Loves Local campaign on the run up to this weekend, and into the Boxing Day and New Year sales.”
People are also being urged to buy the new Scotland Loves Local Edinburgh Gift Card, which is being accepted by more than 160 businesses in and around the city.
Edinburgh West End businesses have been proud supporters of the Scotland Loves Local campaign, which is urging people to choose local to help their communities respond to – and recover from – the ongoing problems posed by Covid-19, protecting jobs in their area.