Businessmen join forces with bold expansion plans to kiosk

Craig McOmish (left) and Paul Haslam at Fleetwood Beach Kiosk.
Craig McOmish (left) and Paul Haslam at Fleetwood Beach Kiosk.

Two well known Fleetwood businessmen have joined forces in a new trading venture.

Paul Haslam, well known in the town for his men’s fashion wear shop, Northern Rags on The Esplanade, is closing the clothes shop to go online-only to join Craig McOmish at Fleetwood Beach Kiosk.

The pair will be working together on bold expansion plans for the kiosk, opposite the North Euston Hotel.

Scotsman Craig, 50, who has lived in Fleetwood for 21 years, says he is keen to work more closely with a like-minded trader who has a progressive outlook to business.

The two men are keen advocates of social media as a means of boosting trade, and last year they both excelled in a national competition run by Twitter - Craig came first.

Their plans include expanding the kiosk and enlarging the outdoor seating space, as well as community proposals to work closely with schools to provide free ice cream tubs for fund-raisers. They also have plans to promote the business further by innovative use of Facebook.

Paul, 43, is also responsible for a shop loyalty card scheme aimed at encouraging Fleetwood folk to shop in the town, which has proved a great success since it launched around five years ago.

Paul, who is now a director of the kiosk business, said: “We are both keen to promote Fleetwood itself, bring more people to the town and make sure they enjoy their time here. With the shop local scheme, we aim to have customers coming back again and again.There are 15,000 cards in operation and 105 businesses on board, 80 per cent of them in Fleetwood.”

Paul is an ex-Fleetwood Town player who originally opened Northern Rags on Poulton Street, before moving to The Esplanade last year.

Craig said: “We are looking to build on the trade we have, which has definitely been helped by Twitter. over the last couple of years

“We plan to expand, have an extra serving hatch and extend our range and our activities. On Twitter we even have David Walliams following the kiosk, which isn’t bad!”