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‘Aggressive’ sellers putting people off shopping

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 24, 2014

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FRUSTRATED shoppers are being put off visiting Burton town centre by ‘aggressive’ sales pitches from companies and charities, it is claimed.

Some say persistent approaches by high street fund-raisers, often dubbed ‘chuggers’, and people working on behalf of firms in shopping centres, ruin their shopping experience.

When asked on the streets of Burton town centre, many also said the actions of charity workers and salesmen forced them to hurry through shopping centres with their eyes to the floor - where they would normally take time to stop and browse in shop windows - for fear of being harassed.

Bob Dyche, from Branston, told the Mail: “Every time I go into Burton town centre I am harassed. Some of it is charities and so of it aggressive companies.

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“I find myself wanting to avoid the town centre. On average I get between six and 10 people coming up to me every time I go shopping and they are a bit over-zealous.”

For Barry Henry, from Willington, it is the persistence of the sellers, even when he has refused, that frustrates him.

He said: “They don’t take no for an answer. They’ll say ‘have a leaflet’, and you’ll say no, but they will carry on.”

Mr Henry also said he disagreed with charities stopping people in the street.

“I give wherever I can, and it’s all done by direct debit so I know where it’s going,” he said.

Another shopper, called Joan, said: “You find yourself avoiding them. It puts you off shopping.”

Dave Chadfield, manager of Coopers Square in Burton, said his centre had adopted a hard-line stance to charities and companies who persist in harassing shoppers who have said they are not interested.

He said: “We have to have a fair balance. Charities have a job to do, but if people are clearly not interested then they should not approach them. If they are not interested, leave them alone.

“We have a strict code of practice and we have stopped some from trading because they don’t get it.”

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