THE WET weather over the festive period failed to put off shoppers as they helped to bring some cheer to the city centre’s stores.
There had been concerns the adverse conditions during December would deter customers, but retail bosses in Worcester said they had a “positive” and “encouraging” month.
Erica Burlace, CrownGate centre manager, said there were a number of factors which indicated a successful Christmas for retailers, with an increase in people using the city’s car parks during November and December.
Saturday, December 22, was also once again the busiest time in the city centre in the run up to Christmas Day, while footfall on Boxing Day and Saturday, December 28 was slightly up on last year.
“Generally speaking our retailers saw a positive Christmas trading period through well managed stock levels, excellent customer service and a sound retail and leisure mix,” Ms Burlace said.
“Retailers are becoming more savvy to the negative impact of residue Christmas stock which then has to be sold on a lower prices thus eating into the profit of the Christmas period. But most reported that stock levels were sufficient.”
She also said late night shopping in Worcester had made a big impact, while Sean Sollom, manager of Cathedral Plaza shopping centre, believed the resurfacing work carried out between the Elgar Statue and Pump Street had helped to boost trade.
He added: “All the fashion retails seem to have come out level on what they had last year. There were a couple of independent stores which were down slightly, which was perhaps due to the awful weather over the Christmas period.
“But I think things are encouraging going forward.”
Adrian Field, of Worcester Business Improvement District (BID), added: “In terms of feedback we have had through the Worcester BID Street Rangers, businesses whom we have spoken to have done reasonably well over Christmas.
“They aren’t shouting from the rooftops but given the bad weather before and since Christmas Day, they have been cautiously optimistic.”