West Suffolk: Traders speak of how business has fared over summer

SUMMER trading has been mixed for businesses in west Suffolk.

Some have said the very wet or hot weather, and even the London 2012 Olympic Games, has kept people indoors and had a negative impact on trade, but others have been unaffected.

John McMillan, president of Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, said: “It’s been very mixed quite honestly. Some have been bearing up. I think generally they have been bearing up very well.

“It’s not been an easy time for anyone. The recession is the number one problem.”

He said trade being hit by the Olympics had been a national issue, adding how the weather had been “an interesting one as well”.


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He said retailers had not had ideal weather, with it either pouring with rain or there being soaring temperatures.

Ali Elliott, who owns Really Rather Good coffee house and tearoom in Abbeygate Street, Bury St Edmunds, with partner Andreas Bonney, said: “The weather, it does play a big part. Obviously if it’s too hot it goes against you.

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“But we have had a very busy summer right up literally until the weekend and then temperatures above 30 and people just don’t want to walk about and come into town really. They get their shopping done really early.”

She added how the rain could actually work to their advantage as, for example, the tourists who came on the prebooked coaches would come inside for shelter.

“Generally speaking, it has been a good summer,” she said.

Really Rather Good opened in July last year.

Moi Mathieson, who owns made by moi jewellery store in Lavenham’s High Street, said the changeable weather in July had affected visitors coming to the village, but added how this month it had picked up again.

“Everything is back on track. I think when it comes down to it you have got to stop blaming outside influences.”

She added: “People are coming to Lavenham, they haven’t stopped, however I would say their average spend is down.”

She said tourism to Lavenham really helped her business, but added how locals also shopped there. She added how she had not seen a negative impact as a result of the Olympics.

made by moi has been in Lavenham for three years and it is the store’s first summer at the new premises.

Tracy Allen, owner of Goslings art shop in Station Road, Sudbury, said the Olympics had not helped her business.

“The weather I wouldn’t say is a factor, but definitely the Olympics because people were staying inside to watch it.”

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