Traders cash in just days before Christmas - despite appalling weather

The Argus: Traders cash in just days before Christmas - despite appalling weather Traders cash in just days before Christmas - despite appalling weather

The weekend's dismal weather failed to keep festive shoppers away as traders cashed in just days before Christmas.

Hardy shoppers braved gale-force winds and driving rain to get the best deals before the big day on Wednesday.

Shopkeepers told The Argus they considered “one in, one out” policies while others were forced to order emergency stock to keep the shelves full.

The weekend was billed as the biggest shopping weekend of the year with Christmas Day falling midweek.

Despite the atrocious weather, gift shop This is Not A Butchers, in Bond Street, Brighton, returned record sales.

Mark Allan, the store’s manager, said: “It has been crazy. It has been so busy in the shop that we almost had to close the doors and operate a one in one out system.

“This is only our second year but I would say we are up 60% to 70% this December to last.

“The weather didn’t keep people away on Saturday. I think thosewho had left it so late had to get out and do it anyway. We’re delighted.”

Eric Danot, of Bonsai Ko in Sydney Street, Brighton, said: “It only really started for me the last couple of days but it’s been crazy. I haven’t looked yet but I have a sneaking suspicion I’m up on last year.”

Mike Levy, of art gift shop Castor and Pollux in King’s Road Arches, said: “The weather was bad on Saturday but those who came in did spend.”

This year has also seen the introduction of free parking at a number of council car parks on the three Sunday’s running up to Christmas.

While traders said it was difficult to know the full impact, Warren Morgan, leader of the council’s Labour group, said the scheme had benefited both businesses and hardpressed families.

However, it wasn’t all good news for traders with the city’s Federation of Small Businesses declaring a “disappointing” December for many.

Chairman Trevor Freeman said: “I don’t think it has been as positive as most would have liked.

“I think more and more people are nowdoing their shopping on the internet. Also families have less money available to spend. The high street giants have also experienced this.

“At the weekend Marks and Spencer dropped prices by 30%.

Unfortunately, small businesses cannot afford to do the same.”

Comments (4)

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12:21pm Mon 23 Dec 13

whatevernext2013 says...

sure looks busy in the photo
sure looks busy in the photo whatevernext2013

1:52pm Mon 23 Dec 13

Bob_The_Ferret says...

On reflection, is it perhaps the case that Davey and Kitkat's comments that the free Sunday parking would bring chaos and disaster for traders have brought the council into disrepute?
On reflection, is it perhaps the case that Davey and Kitkat's comments that the free Sunday parking would bring chaos and disaster for traders have brought the council into disrepute? Bob_The_Ferret

2:28pm Mon 23 Dec 13

Crystal Ball says...

Bob_The_Ferret wrote:
On reflection, is it perhaps the case that Davey and Kitkat's comments that the free Sunday parking would bring chaos and disaster for traders have brought the council into disrepute?
Pretty sure the Green Council's reputation was shot long before their comments on free parking were made.
[quote][p][bold]Bob_The_Ferret[/bold] wrote: On reflection, is it perhaps the case that Davey and Kitkat's comments that the free Sunday parking would bring chaos and disaster for traders have brought the council into disrepute?[/p][/quote]Pretty sure the Green Council's reputation was shot long before their comments on free parking were made. Crystal Ball

8:08pm Mon 23 Dec 13

Brighton Living says...

Mmmmmmmm........ Didn't see any cars waiting to get in to the car parks and didn't see any traffic jams around the town or sea front. Everybody must have used public transport then. NOT !
Mmmmmmmm........ Didn't see any cars waiting to get in to the car parks and didn't see any traffic jams around the town or sea front. Everybody must have used public transport then. NOT ! Brighton Living

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