Sales up as shoppers give town traders timely boost

Judith Blatch ENGANL00120111107160448
Judith Blatch ENGANL00120111107160448

Retailers have suggested that it was a successful Christmas period for Sudbury, with full car parks, busy shops and popular town events.

Although sales figures have not been finalised, town development manager Jane Hatton is hopeful the town has prospered in the run-up to Christmas.

“It has definitely felt busy and I understand that the car parks have been full on occasions,” said Mrs Hatton.

She added that The Secret Garden, in Friars Street, Sudbury, had seen a 10 to 12 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2013.

Meanwhile, Judith Blatch, director of the department store Winch and Blatch, was also positive about the festive period and the year as a whole.

She said: “Winch and Blatch has seen stronger growth this year across the board – a combination of the investment we made in our main store cafe and a return of customers to the high street.

“We have served more than 37,000 hot drinks this year. With a minimum of one cup, saucer, spoon and milk jug per cup of coffee, that makes an eye-watering amount of washing up.”

She added that more money was being spent on luxury items than in previous years, while also noting a shift towards casual clothing, with brands such as Weirdfish and Joules proving popular.

“Our figures would suggest that women, who, in many cases, have control of the family purse strings and do not spend on themselves when times are tough, are spending money on themselves this year as sales of handbags and lingerie have been very strong,” she said.

Mrs Hatton said the many events that took place in November and December were vital in bringing visitors to the town, which in turn boosted retail profits.

“It is important that events like the Christmas light switch-on and the Christmas tree festival are hugely successful and both brought thousands of people into Sudbury town centre in the run-up to Christmas,” she said.

“The panto, Little Red Riding Hood, at The Quay Theatre has also been a great success, with 22 shows and only a handful of unbooked seats.”