Storms hit some Christmas trade

Storms hit some Christmas trade

The bad weather and flooding hit Christmas and post-Christmas trade for some, but many independent retailers say they have weathered the storm.

Much Ado About Nothing Books in Alfriston, Sussex, was among the shops suffering. The main road into the village of Alfriston was flooded "on and off for several days starting just before Christmas", owner Nash Robbins said.

He said: "Although it doesn't completely cut off the village, it does have a deadening effect on business. We very much feel that post-Christmas is down from last year... When the weather is bad people don't come out to a village like ours."

Also affected by flooding was Mr Books Bookshop in Tonbridge. The shop itself is located half-way up a hill, but much of lower areas nearby were flooded, said owner Mark Richardson.

He said: "The biggest thing for me was that people might have avoided the area. I think people have been reading about Tonbridge and the flooding and avoided it."

Matthew Clarke of The Torbay Bookshop said the shop had suffered on December 23rd because of "torrential rain and gales", but he said that "we probably made it up on Christmas Eve".

However a power cut on Christmas Eve affected Brian P Martin Antiquarian Books in Godalming in Surrey. Owner Brian Martin said: "We were without power for a couple of days starting on Christmas Eve, when we showed people round with a torch." Post-Christmas the shop opened as normal.

Other retailers, including Edge of the World in Penzance and Gullivers in Wimborne Minster in Dorset, said they were unaffected by storms.

A spokesman for Waterstones, which has branches in areas affected by the storms and flooding, including Dorking, said all shops had been able to trade as normal.