Aldeburgh’s coastline of culture boasts proud independence for Small Business Saturday

Christmas shopping in Aldeburgh

Christmas shopping in Aldeburgh - Credit: Archant

Lined with independent retailers and food stores, Aldeburgh’s High Street depends on attracting shoppers at this time of year.

Aldeburgh Christmas market and light switch on. First international Aldeburgh Pheasant plucking comp

Aldeburgh Christmas market and light switch on. First international Aldeburgh Pheasant plucking competition at Salter and King Butchers.

The town has just enjoyed a bustling Christmas lights switch-on celebration, and continues to exude festive spirit, with many small businesses contributing their own wintery window displays.

Summer is the seaside resort’s prime period for generating income from tourism but the lead up to Christmas remains a crucial time for traders.

Aldeburgh restaurateur and business association chairman Rob Mabey said: “Our high street is all about being eclectic and individual.

“We have a number of chain stores but pretty much everything else is independent. Staying that way is very important to us.

“Anyone operating in the tourism industry is, of course, switched onto the school holidays – but the weeks before Christmas are just as important for everyone else.

“Our lights switch-on really kick-started the Christmas season and we have some great window displays on show in our shops.”

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Aldeburgh has been notably defiant towards the proposed arrival of major national retailers to the town in the past.

In 2012, the business association led a campaign against the firm moving into the former Crossways garage site in Saxmundham Road, declaring independent shops the “lifeblood” of Aldeburgh’s local economy, and that money spent at independent shops circulated at least three times within the local community.

The town is home to an award-winning independent bookshop and a number of homeware and clothing specialists.

Its shingle beach, established art scene and gastronomic offerings make it a unique destination for shoppers.

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