Footfall looks promising for Essex traders in the run up to Christmas

Colchester High Street

Colchester High Street - Credit: Su Anderson

Initial estimates of footfall figures in Colchester suggest it will be a bumper Christmas for traders in the town – while there is a positive response from retailers in Clacton.

Colchester’s car parks have been full over the past five days, with the only question being whether the tills are ringing out in the same way.

Ron Levy, secretary of the Colchester Retail/Business Association (CORBA), said: “We haven’t got figures yet, but my shop overlooks a car park in the town centre and from Wednesday evening for late night shopping right through the cars have been piling in.

“The greatest indicator is how it fills up and people just drive around waiting for a space to become available, which really shows I think that footfall is high.

“Many of my customers have said the shops were pretty packed, and I think shop keepers will probably be quite delighted with the volume of shoppers.

“Footfall is looking quite remarkable, which shows Colchester still has a magnetic draw for Christmas shoppers. Late night shopping is very popular.”

Pierre Oxley, a Clacton district councillor who works in retail, added: “I have spoken to traders and know from our own experience that things are a lot better now, especially compared to September and October which were a bit dire.

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“People have got more money these days – fuel prices are falling and people probably have around £40 more in their pockets each month from that alone. Inflation is low and more people are in work, while low interest rates mean saving is not as attractive an option either.

“People are feeling a bit better for themselves, and that is translating at the tills.”