Brighton and Hove looks forward to bumper Christmas after first weekend goes with a swing

The Argus: Brighton and Hove's looks forward to bumper Christmas after first weekend goes with a swing Brighton and Hove's looks forward to bumper Christmas after first weekend goes with a swing

Shopping centres and stores across Brighton and Hove and across Sussex enjoyed a bumper weekend as the build up to Christmas began.

Stores reported a busy Saturday and Sunday as shoppers started to get into the festive spirit and step up their preparations for Christmas and new year.

With less than four weeks to go before the big day, businesses are already seeing a rise in demand, as shoppers snap up the latest gadgets, browse through bookshops as they look for the perfect gift.

Traders in the city are hoping to end the year in style by putting the effects of the recession behind them and get a much needed boost in trade and profits.

Thousands headed for Churchill Square in Brighton this weekend where shops including Debenhams and BHS were already offering discounts of up to 30% on goods.

Former glamour model Katy Price was spotted in Debenhams on Friday shopping for perfume and hand cream.

The Apple Store and Marks and Spencer were also reportedly busy over the weekend.

The free parking planned in Brighton and Hove for next weekend and the following two Sundays in the run up to Christmas is expected to add to the numbers visiting the city.

Christmas decorations and lights helped add to the atmosphere, with many stores adding their own touches.

Staff at Gresham Blake in Bond Street, Brighton, have set up a display called Angel of the North Laine, and took time out to give the giant Santa in their window a hug.

Peter Allinson from the North Laine Trader’s Association runs the Whirligig toy shop and Temptations cafe.

He said: “We have had a fantastic weekend. Overall, compared to the same weekend last year, we are about 50% up.

“Last year we had 14 Saturdays of rain between October and December and it had such an impact. But this weekend was great. There was lovely weather on Saturday and we basically broke all records.

“Both shops couldn’t have been any more full and it was like that throughout the day on Saturday and on Sunday.

“There was a great atmosphere and you could feel that people were just enjoying being out and about in Brighton.

“I’m hoping this is not just a one off and it is going to carry on over the next few weekends. It puts everyone in a really buoyant mood and hopefully we will have a great end to the year.”

Jade Ormesher, duty manager at Dirty Harry’s in Sydney Street, said: “It’s been a very good weekend. We have had a lot of people in and things are looking good for the run up to Christmas.”

Sanjar Qian, of Rocket Science toy shop in Trafalgar Street, Brighton, said: “We have been very busy. This was the first time this year we felt that Christmas had really started to kick off.

“This is only our second Christmas as we opened a year and a half ago but things are looking good.

“We rely a lot on word of mouth and recommendations. A lot of people have got to know about us over the last year and we are now seeing the effects of that. It is looking like we are going to have a good year.”

Adam Campbell from the Western Road Traders Association, who runs Gill’s Home and Garden, said: “We have had a good and busy weekend.

“We recently brought in a supply of 50 of our special pot grown Christmas trees and half of them have gone already.”

Comments (3)

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10:30am Mon 2 Dec 13

peteb21 says...

Surely some mistake?! All the usual Argus commenters have been saying the Greens are going to ruin Christmas for local business and shoppers? They can’t be wrong, surely not, they always sound so certain about whatever they say?!
Surely some mistake?! All the usual Argus commenters have been saying the Greens are going to ruin Christmas for local business and shoppers? They can’t be wrong, surely not, they always sound so certain about whatever they say?! peteb21

2:02pm Mon 2 Dec 13

HJarrs says...

peteb21 wrote:
Surely some mistake?! All the usual Argus commenters have been saying the Greens are going to ruin Christmas for local business and shoppers? They can’t be wrong, surely not, they always sound so certain about whatever they say?!
Yep. As predicted, B&H is going to do well in the run-up to Xmas. The local economy is outpacing the growing national economy and confidence is up.

The free parking on the coming weekends will just cost the council £100000+ for no additional business benefit, as parking space hoggers will take up spaces that would have been filled many times over anyway. What a shame they couldn't have done something to reduce the bus fares and encourage more people to come in by public transport instead. Well done Labour and Conservative councillors for joining together to shoot the city in the foot.
[quote][p][bold]peteb21[/bold] wrote: Surely some mistake?! All the usual Argus commenters have been saying the Greens are going to ruin Christmas for local business and shoppers? They can’t be wrong, surely not, they always sound so certain about whatever they say?![/p][/quote]Yep. As predicted, B&H is going to do well in the run-up to Xmas. The local economy is outpacing the growing national economy and confidence is up. The free parking on the coming weekends will just cost the council £100000+ for no additional business benefit, as parking space hoggers will take up spaces that would have been filled many times over anyway. What a shame they couldn't have done something to reduce the bus fares and encourage more people to come in by public transport instead. Well done Labour and Conservative councillors for joining together to shoot the city in the foot. HJarrs

7:17pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Maxwell's Ghost says...

The traders will tell you that the key period of risk to business is after January and between Easter not the run up to christmas which usually is always profitable, although traders need to earn at least a third of their income at this time.
The traders will tell you that the key period of risk to business is after January and between Easter not the run up to christmas which usually is always profitable, although traders need to earn at least a third of their income at this time. Maxwell's Ghost

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