Traders in Bury St Edmunds upbeat despite poor weather hitting sales figures

Shoppers on Christmas eve 'xmas eve shopping
Shoppers on Christmas eve 'xmas eve shopping
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Shops in Bury St Edmunds are hoping for good trade in the post Christmas sales after poor weather dented some of their takings.

Traders in the town have reported a mixed response from shoppers in the run up for Christmas.

Shoppers on Christmas eve 'xmas eve shopping

Shoppers on Christmas eve 'xmas eve shopping

Waterstones in the arc Tweeted that the Saturday prior to Christmas, was its best since the store opened three years ago.

And overall trade leaders are positive about how the town has weathered the economic storm when compared to other towns.

“The economic climate has not helped but Bury is still a destination for shoppers,” said Darren Old, chairman of the Bury market traders who runs a card stall.

“We are still attracting people from further afield. I had somebody from France come to buy their cards to take back.”

He said the run up to Christmas had not been helped by ‘The appalling weather’ but despite a lack of publicity, a small Sunday market, and a Christmas Eve market, had both attracted a lot of shoppers.

“Trade is generally down overall. Until the figures are out we wont know where exactly we are. But the weather has definitely been against us.”

He said he plans to ‘work’ with the council on a number of ideas to improve the market – not least publicising the Christmas Eve market.

“It is something that we need to work on. We are here on Christmas Eve every year and every year we have customers coming up saying, ‘I didn’t know there was a market on Christmas Eve’. It has been here every year for more than 20 years.

“Next year we will be working with St Edmundsbury Borough Council and the Tourist Information Centre and we are hoping to may be have a farmer’s market.

Meanwhile Mark Cordell, chief executive for Bid4Bury said that some of the independent retailers reported a last minute rush of shoppers before Christmas.

“The pro-active indepdendent businesses in the town are telling me they have had a pretty busy weekend with lots of last minute shoppers.
“Our job now is to keep that momentum going and it is the Bid groups job to keep that interest in the town.”

He also said that there remains a strong number of national chains and independent retailers looking to open in Bury, which shows overall the town is perceived to be fairing well.

“People don’t come to Bury to set up a business on a whim – they are here because they believe they can make a profit,” he said.