A Canterbury jeweller is calling for locals to support local businesses in the run-up to Christmas.
Ortwin Thyssen operates a handmade jewellery makers on Palace Street and believes shops like his offer something online retailers struggle to match.
He said: “Leave the online shopping to those mass-produced things that are better done that way and enjoy the real experience, the personal touch and the creative flair that the city centre offers.
“There are some very impressive traders around and I encourage local people to go in and see, feel and smell for yourself.
“A number of shopkeepers are taking part on the best Christmas window competition, and business owners are getting into the festive spirit by making a big effort to outdo each other.
“For small independent businesses it’s possible to offer a very unique experience to our customers and build real relationships.”
The Canterbury experience is managed by the traders themselves through the Business Improvement District (BID) which organises the flower displays and the Christmas lights, and market Canterbury domestically and abroad.
A number of high street shops are currently closed and the future of key anchor stores such as Debenhams looks precarious.
Mr Thyssen, however, remains optimistic.
“Canterbury is very fortunate to have this level of attention to those little things that make a shopping trip to Canterbury a real experience for all the senses, especially now we are heading towards Christmas,” he said.
Ortwin Thyssen Jewellers can be found at 53 Palace Street and is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm. Look out for the shop window nativity scene fashioned from gold and platinum in an unusual three-parted walnut shell.