Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Mixed bag for festive shop trade

TRADERS in Henley experienced mixed fortunes in the run-up to Christmas.

TRADERS in Henley experienced mixed fortunes in the run-up to Christmas.

Some reported better figures than last year, while others said their sales were worse.

Laurence Menswear in Duke Street reported an increase in sales.

Owner Laurence Morris said: “The run-up to Christmas was very good.

“The sales started well but the fact that so many companies go into major sales before Christmas now definitely affects the traditional after-Christmas sales.”

Lorraine Hillier, who owns the Upstairs, Downstairs tea room in Duke Street and Hot Gossip coffee house in Friday Street, said: “We were very busy in the last few days before Christmas and we have been really busy since then which I didn’t think would happen. I thought there would be a bit of a lull with people still being away.

“I would say we are the same if not better than last year. I think the weather has helped. It has been very cold but with a bit of sunshine, which makes people want to go out.”

Sales at the Bell Bookshop in Bell Street were also up on last year.

Manager Hilary Redhead said: “We had a really good December. It was really busy over Christmas. There has been lots of buzz in the town. Now we are looking forward to January.”

However, Gillian Nahum, owner of Boatique in Friday Street, said: “We had one really good week before Christmas but we were way down on last year.

“We opened on Boxing Day, which was a complete waste of time. We started our sale on Tuesday and I just hope people are going to come back to the joys of independent shops.”

James Miller, of Henley Cycles in Reading Road, said: “Sometimes we have a really good Christmas and sometimes we don’t and this year we didn’t.

“It has been very slow compared with last year. We didn’t have a good few weeks running up to Christmas.”

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