“This year it was just phenomenal”: Bathurst ladies night out a success

Ladies night this year was a success say downtown business owners, adding similar activities in the winter will boost local shopping. 

“I have been on Main St. for almost six years now and this year [ladies night] was the biggest one. We had a hard time to walk in here, we had so many people and it was a fun night,” said Andrea Cormier Duguay, owner of Andrea’s confectionery in downtown Bathurst. 

Downtown Bathurst hosted Ladies Night Out, Nov. 23 to kick-off the holiday season. Various businesses participated and offered specials and discounts to shoppers. 

Paul van der Pluijn, owner of Tower Jewellers, shared the same excitement as Cormier about ladies night and said during winter, businesses need to give people in the community a reason to come out and shop. 

“We have been doing a ladies night in the city for a number of years and it has always been good but this year it was just phenomenal. It was a really good response and everyone was really busy,” he said, noting he met new people from the community in his store that evening. 

Pluijn said, a similar event in the month of February could help make downtown more busy during winter.

“I definitely see a shift downtown [Bathurst]. With the bars, restaurants, there are more people coming downtown. There is definitely more foot-traffic. There are new store fronts, new lighting on the lamp post. DBRC [Downtown Bathurst Revitalisation Corporation] is really trying to get people downtown as well which puts a positive spin to it,” he added.

Catherine McLaughlin, owner of Catherine & Company said one reason for people to shop in the city is the personalised services businesses in the city have to offer. She said shop owners are invested in their businesses and are working hands-on to give the customer a good shopping experience. 

“When you get served at the store, you are getting served by the person who probably owns the store and their staff that has been hand selected by them…In Bathurst when you look downtown, you have a lot of unique and specialised stores,” she said. 

Meanwhile, Jennifer Daigle, executive director for the Greater Bathurst Chamber of Commerce said even though there is convenience to shopping online, one cannot get the same customer service like shopping at a store. 

“It’s [Bathurst] is not a shopping mecca. I am not in downtown Toronto, but there is everything that we need and it is very individualised…A lot of small businesses with people who know their product… We have incredible artisans that make products, difficult to find anywhere else,” she said.

Paolo Fongemie, mayor of Bathurst said shopping locally and supporting entrepreneurs boosts the economy of the city and region. 

“In order to have a strong economy in our city and region, we need to shop local. Because that’s the dollars we have spent locally. It is reinvested locally. And I think we are seeing support from the citizens in all our region to shop local and support our entrepreneurs,” he said. 

Fongemie said he is seeing a lot of positive energy in downtown Bathurst with new restaurants, bars and businesses opening up. 

“We just see a lot of people joining in,” he said. 

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