Almost 100 High Street Lincoln businesses have signed up to an initiative to open until 8pm every Thursday, all year round, from July 7.
The new licensing is part of Lincoln BIG’s efforts to increase sales on the High Street.
The organisers believe longer opening hours for at least one day of the week will help Lincoln overcome the ghost town syndrome, as most shops close at 5.30pm.
Businesses, such as Stokes Cafe on High Bridge, jeweller John Greed and outlets in the Waterside Shopping Centre, are on the increasing list of late-night opening shops.
To help attract numbers, Stagecoach Lincolnshire have confirmed that they will be supporting the initiative with the reinstatement of services to the Ermine on Thursday evenings and a special flat-rate £1 fare.
“If we can get it firmly established in the High Street, we are hoping that other areas such as Bailgate can come on board in phase two of the scheme.”
Although the scheme is good for larger businesses, not all retailers are completely confident the extra hours would be beneficial for them.
Ann Turner, Manager of Ann Harvey, said “We are still not sure if we are onboard or not. When it comes to 4-o-clock on weekdays we tend to die down, so opening later may not be prosperous for us.
“Like a number of retailers we participated in the late night Christmas shopping, but this may not prove a good move for us,” Turner explained.
Denise Turner, Assistant Manager at Thornton’s, said “We were open late during the Christmas period and that was successful, but were not sure what to expect this time. Both of our stores will be open and we are hoping to attract customers.
“The only trouble is that, with one of our stores being off the High Street, it may be missed by people. Hopefully it will be a success and we won’t have to stop opening later.”