Local businesses split over benefits of Christmas Market

Wincton businesses have been struggling to attract visitors in the lead up to Christmas, with some blaming poor sales on the success of Wincton Cathedral’s Christmas Market operations.

Stores at the upper and lower ends of the High Street complain about reduced customer footfall.  However, as reported previously, the large numbers of extra visitors mean that many businesses have never been busier.

Ayesha Gill, assistant manager at a town centre coffee shop, said “We have been bursting with customers from the moment the Christmas Market opened.  The coach parties have been great because they come in for a quick drink and snack before hitting the stalls.”

Simon Bradshaw, a trainee hairdresser at a High Street salon, said “We have seen lots of customers cancelling appointments, particularly at weekends when the traffic has been so bad.  They can’t find anywhere to park.”

Another retailer, who wished not to be named, added “Everybody has been complaining, even those nearer to the market, because our regular clients are keeping away.”

A spokesperson for the Chamber of Commerce said “The restaurant business has been particularly good this year but some of our service sector businesses have found it tough going.  We will need to think carefully about how we encourage visitors to move beyond the immediate vicinity of The Open when the Christmas Market is running.”

Wincton Cathedral is expected to report another bumper year of Christmas trading but nobody was available for comment at time of going to press.