SHOPKEEPERS have reported a general downturn in Christmas trading in comparison to last year.
Uttoxeter town centre businesses have reported slowing trade in the town centre, and have attributed it to the rise of online shopping and retail park shopping.
Sharon Jones, owner of Peaches and Pairs in Market Place said: “It’s not been a great season so far.
“I would say it’s been an above average week this week, but nothing to shout about.
“The last few Christmasses have been better than this one.
“If you don’t get people in the high street, you will get people shopping out of town or online, and I think that’s what’s happening.”
Mandy Wilkinson, assistant manager of M&Co in High Street said: “It always could be better, though the sales are bringing people into the shop.
“Compared to last year, we are about in the same position.”
The news comes soon after a Uttoxeter shopkeeper appealed for borough council chiefs to do something
Lorna Eldergill, owner of independent shop Metastone at Lion Buildings, in Market Place said: “It’s a sign of the times, people shop more and more online.
“No one at the council seems to care about the state of the high street – they don’t think about small businesses, but instead focus on the retail parks.
“I don’t think they realise that when the smaller shops have moved out of the town centre they won’t come back.
“The fact that Buxton and Bonnett closed down last month and they have been here since 1909 tells you things have changed.”
Despite the general feeling about the decline of the British high street, some Uttoxeter shops reported a strong trading period for the festive season including the British Red Cross in the Maltings which sells bric-a-brac and Daisy Chain in Carter Street which sells home accessories, chic furniture and jewellery.
Clair Atherton, of Daisy Chain said: “It was a slow start to the festive shopping season but the last one and a half weeks have been very busy.
“This year it seems everyone has left their shopping until the last minute.
“We like the shoppers’ festive cheer and we’re very happy with how it’s going so far.”
Assistant manager Margaret Wheeler, of the British Red Cross said:”It’s been very busy so far and better than last year.”