'Support for local shops' - How busy are High Streets so far this Christmas?

Shoppers rushed to the high street this weekend to stock up on Christmas gifts before the lockdown Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Shops in the area generally seeing an upturn in business so far this Christmas period. - Credit: Archant

With only a few weeks left until Christmas, what has business been like in our local high streets so far?

According to a recent study conducted by NFU Mutual nearly a third of shoppers are choosing to use local retailers more than before the pandemic - and anecdotal evidence suggests that appears to be filtering into Suffolk's high streets this December.

Cathy Frost, from Loveone, in Ipswich, has seen business start to pick up as the Christmas season rolls in. "The last two weeks people have started buying Christmas decorations and cards.

"We’re now open every day up until Christmas, and we’ve had some good trade. Even on days like Monday or Tuesdays it’s been pretty good so I think people have come out and supported local, definitely.

"The footfall has been pretty good; I think people have definitely supported our road (St Peter's Street)."

The effect of events like Christmas markets has also had a positive impact on business in Ipswich, according to Cathy, who said: "We had our Christmas market a couple of weeks ago, and it was one of the best we’ve ever done in terms of footfall.

"The street market was really well attended, and all the traders, both if you had a shop or were out on the street said it was busy.

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"People have come out and are making the best of the season, for sure."

Jill Barrett, from Barrett's, in Woodbridge, has also seen an upturn in trade so far this festive period. "We are happy to be able to report that sales have been buoyant in the lead up to Christmas, which is great news after such uncertain times."

John Manning, from The House in Town, Ipswich, hasn't personally seen an increase in trade so far this Christmas due to the nature of his business, but said that his mother's and brother's shops, Maud's Attic and Revival, have been "manically busy".

Mr Manning is also expecting business to pick up in the next few weeks. "Everything's been pushed back a bit timescale wise, so I expect the last couple of weeks to play catch-up."