Beleagured traders hoping for money while it’s sunny

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SHOPS in our area are hoping soaring temperatures will attract more people into town and boost sales.

A tough start to the year for local businesses was echoed this week by the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

UK retail sales were the worst in two years in April as record rainfall hit the high street and fuel sales plunged. The drop in sales was led by 5.2 per cent decline in clothing and footwear, said the ONS.

Jason Rooke, president of the Spalding and District Chamber of Commerce, said: “Trade in the town has been slow and it continues to be tough out there, but we are hoping the good weather will bring more people into town and help boost sales.”

Mr Rooke said the Chamber is encouraging local traders to make the most of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games.

He said: “We are keeping up the bunting from the flower festival, but we hope shops will dress their windows, too. Some already have and they look great.

“We also hope they will stay open over the bank holidays. Hopefully, there will be lots of people in town.”

Darryl Simpson, managing director of Spalding’s Hills Department Store, said the sun was definitely bringing shoppers out.

He said: “A week ago people were still wearing coats and boots, but the store is quite busy with shoppers looking at seasonal clothes and products.”

Nigel Wallis, general manager of Baytree Nurseries and Garden Centre in Weston, said he was hoping for a good weekend.

He said: “It has been very quiet, but we’ve had a few good sales since the sun came out.

“All we can do is keep positive and keep at it.”