A survey of independent retailers in Penarth has revealed that sales in December 2018 were up on those of Christmas 2017.
Despite falling sales being reported by many of the UK wide retail chains, figures from Penarth retailers showed that they were able to buck the trend, pull in the customers and counter the gloom pervading high-streets elsewhere .
Local traders commented that, whilst the weather had put a dampener on footfall during the first two weeks of December, resilient and loyal customers had turned out in force in the run-up to Christmas to buy their gifts from local businesses.
This was in contrast to major chain retailers, such as Mothercare, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s – all of whom reported weak Christmas trading results.
Justin Horton, owner of popular independent childrenswear store Funky Monkey, said “After a quiet November, we saw a good increase in sales during December compared to the previous two years; in particular people were really keen to support their local High Street and family businesses like ours.”
Mr Horton added “We also think that people weren’t fooled by ‘fake’ sales promotions in the big stores and recognised the quality of product and great customer service that Penarth retailers offer”.
Fellow Penarth retailer Mel Griffin of Griffin Books said “Independent bookshops nationally saw buoyant Christmas trading, and we were no exception. “
Ms Griffin says “It’s great to see customers valuing the personal service, expertise and distinctive range of stock smaller shops are able to offer, and we hope to see this continue throughout the coming year.”
Worries over Brexit, security, anti-social behaviour and the increasingly high costs of running businesses in Penarth were top of traders’ concerns. In particular, the high cost of business rates continues to worry retailers in Penarth – some of whom. it’s feared, may have to consider closure if business rates rise any further in 2019.