Oswestry traders still facing tough times

Published date: 24 December 2013 |
Published by: Sarah Staples 
Read more articles by Sarah Staples  Email reporter


BUSINESSES in Oswestry have reported mixed feelings in the run-up to Christmas, with one owner reporting a “dramatic drop in footfall.”
Long-running cookery shop Upstairs Downstairs has reported a drop in their sales on last year, with director Yossi Gliksman claiming Oswestry has not got “a Christmassy feel this year.”
He said: “The shop is certainly not as busy as it has been in previous years.
“Last year we were incredibly busy and couldn’t move in the shop, but this year we have seen a dramatic drop in footfall.”
The store on Leg Street has been running for nearly 30 years and last year expanded the premises to take on more stock.
Mr Gliksman added: “People have now been educated to wait for the big stores to knock prices down, so they are causing shoppers to go to sales before Christmas is over and buy as cheaply as possible. I can see it’s not the same in Oswestry.”
But the Gates Gift Shop in Church Street reported great sales in the run up to Christmas.
Owner Wendy Unwin said: “We have seen an increase in the shop since November, which I think could be down to the bespoke gifts that we now sell as people seem to like personal gifts.
“The weather last year wasn’t good so it hampered our trade because people have to walk a bit out of town to get to us, so this year we may have done better because of the milder weather.”
Although nearly 40 per cent of households in the UK were expected to increase their Christmas budget according to a recent survey, HSBC predicted the amount of people shopping on the High Street to drop by five per cent compared to 2012.
The average spend per person was also expected to drop from £526 last year to £488.
Barclays found that 52 per cent of retailers in the UK felt more confident about Christmas trading, but also predicted more people than ever before have used mobile apps and websites to do their Christmas shopping, as website traffic was expected to increase by 11 per cent through December.
David Clough, Retail Markets and Events Manager in Oswestry, is pleased with the sales at the indoor market on Bailey Head but still hopes for improvement in the future.
He said: “We have been a bit unfortunate with the weather this year but I have been speaking to traders and on the whole the sales match last year and in some cases it has improved.
“We will continue to work hard and push for improvements next year to keep the market going well.”

PICTURED: Cuckoos secondhand shop in Bailey Street is just one town centre business that has closed in Oswestry recently.


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