Retailers in and around Grantham report a festive season for trading with Boxing Day sales leading to queues at one.
Oldrids & Downtown revealed today that they are performing ahead of forecast across their entire business despite nationwide reports of declining levels of footfall and sales by many retailers over the festive period.
Springboard, the retail intelligence analyst, provided research reporting that the Boxing Day footfall drop was greater than expected nationally, reducing by as much as 5.9 per cent compared to last year, the worst Boxing Day footfall performance for 5 years.
But Richard Broadhead, Managing Director of Oldrids & Downtown, confirmed: “We are delighted that the last quarter has delivered strong sales for us and the weeks leading up to Christmas saw our trading significantly ahead of budgeted sales and last year. We’ve got everything right this Christmas: great products at competitive prices, delivered with first class service by our store teams.”
Mr Broadhead said in addition to Christmas, Boxing day sales also surpassed expectations.
“We had queues outside the stores in Grantham and Boston full of excited customers eager to grab a bargain. Final results for Boxing Day recorded a very impressive +24 per cent increase in sales compared to 2016. One customer told us that they had been shopping with the family-owned chain for decades and were now looking for items in the sale for their grandchildren.
“We’re very grateful to all our customers, across Lincolnshire and beyond, for shopping with us and supporting our business. Thank you!” he added.
The Lincolnshire-based family-owned company said the atmosphere in the stores was buoyed throughout the Christmas period by numerous events and activities, and store staff dressing up in fancy dress and festive costumes.
Mr Broadhead said the company was also delighted to have been the target of a “flash mob” on the run up to Christmas, who “literally just started dancing in the aisles creating amusement and delight with both the staff and customers alike.”
He added: “There’s no doubt that it has been a tough year again for the retail sector and we expect 2018 to be similarly challenging, but we’re ready for it and our attention to detail and focussed retail disciplines provide solid foundations on which to trade.”
Vinod Chadda of Empire Stores reported a good Christmas, helped by new stock and brands, discount schemes and evening and weekend opening. Wedding hire and sales were also “busy” but overall trade was a little down on last year due to growing online sales.
Sue Hodgson of Flowers From Holland reported “a great Ghristmas” with “plenty of shoppers out there.”