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Good start, but too soon to judge strength of festive shopping period

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JERSEY’S retailers have had a positive start to the festive shopping period – although the recent wet weather may have put some Islanders off.

Picture:DAVID FERGUSON. (26534711)

With the first December weekend marking the start of the traditionally busy Christmas period and Black Friday giving shoppers an extra reason to visit town, retailers have seen a strong start to the season.

However, a number have said it is too soon to tell whether the positive start would translate into a good sales period.

A number of the Island’s high-street stores reported that the weekend saw a rise in sales.

Gerald Voisin, owner of Voisins, said that trading had been good, despite having a long way to go, but said he would describe the current pace of sales as ‘normal Christmas trading’.

He said: ‘Late-night shopping and the turning on of the Christmas tree always brings people into town and gets things off to a positive start.

‘It is difficult to tell two weekends into the shopping period whether it is better or worse than other years but so far I would say we are experiencing pretty normal Christmas trading.

‘But the bad weather did seem to put people off from coming to town for a couple of weekends.’

Kevin Smith, assistant manager at The Entertainer toy shop, said: ‘Since the first late-night shopping we have seen things pick up, and of course it was pay day last week.

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‘We are now where we needed to be, really, which is good, and where we were at this time last year.

‘As a consumer, I always see Black Friday as being more focused on electronic goods.

‘We have deals on with our products and toys all year around.’

However, the Island’s shops will be hoping that the poor weather that has dominated the last couple of months will improve and persuade more people to do their festive shopping in town.

Murray Norton, chief executive of the Jersey Chamber of Commerce, said that he felt it was ‘too soon to say either way’ as to the strength of the start of this year’s festive shopping season.

Similarly, a spokesperson from Sandpiper said it was ‘too early’ to say how trade was doing and added that ‘trade is usually good when it’s not raining’.

Krystle Higgins

By Krystle Higgins
Reporter

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