Mixed reaction from traders on seasonal shopping

Ludlow Advertiser: Market traders in Ludlow
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Anwar Mahmood of Woodthorpe Preserves from Kington with a selection of his preserves including Xmas Chutney and Xmas Marmalade
Photo: Keith Gluyas (3009152) Market traders in Ludlow 135160-4 Anwar Mahmood of Woodthorpe Preserves from Kington with a selection of his preserves including Xmas Chutney and Xmas Marmalade Photo: Keith Gluyas (3009152)

THE second Saturday before Christmas is statistically usually the biggest shopping day of the year but it did not feel like that in Ludlow or Tenbury.

Shop keepers in both towns are still hoping for a late push in the next few days to boost sales.

It is on the penultimate Saturday before December 25 when people dig deepest into their purses and wallets but Advertiser photographer Keith Gluyas who was on the lookout for Christmas shoppers was underwhelmed.

“There were people about shopping but it certainly was not busy and in fact quieter than on some market days during the year,” he said.

“I would not have known from the numbers of shoppers that it was the second Saturday before Christmas and the traders that I spoke to said they had had their moments but it was nothing special.”

However, there is a view that the jury remains out on Christmas 2013 and with several days still to go there is still time for people that have left their shopping late to splash the cash.

Nevertheless, there is no belief that the tentative economic recovery is being reflected in a significant increase in consumer confidence when it comes to Christmas shopping.

Market towns like Ludlow, Tenbury and the other towns in south Shropshire such as Cleobury Mortimer, Craven Arms, Bishops Castle, Church Stretton and Clun often benefit from a cold snap that makes travel to larger towns, cities and out of town centres more difficult and inconvenient.

In this respect there is a general view that the mild December so far has not been helpful.

The growth of internet shopping continues to hit the traditional High Street and after several years of austerity people are generally being more careful with their money.

Ludlow held its third and final Tinsel Tuesday this week and the Chamber of Trade and Town Council will evaluate in the New Year if the special gift market initiative has been a success.

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