Festive frivolities boost Budleigh business

PUBLISHED: 12:30 31 December 2016

Christmas illuminations above High Street, Budleigh Salterton. Picture:: Adrian Oakes

Christmas illuminations above High Street, Budleigh Salterton. Picture:: Adrian Oakes

Archant

One of the best late-night shopping events on record has ‘kick-started’ a business boom in Budleigh Salterton, according to traders.

Record numbers descended on Budleigh this year for the annual shopping and entertainment event, looking to complete their Christmas purchases.

Traders have since reported that in the two weeks after the late-night shopping event, trade in the town has soared.

Karen Ritchie, owner of The Rowan Tree, High Street, which won the best-dressed interior at the late night shopping event, said: “Late-night shopping kick-started Christmas in a lot of people’s eyes.

“There is a little bit more confidence in local traders and people are very keen to support local businesses.

“The message to shop local is starting to hit home.”

Pat Prew, from Card Shop Too, High Street, said: “It’s the best Christmas period I have known for several years.

“People are definitely looking positive and looking to shop locally.”

This year marked the first late-night shopping for Vanilla Sky, which opened in October.

Clare Loftus, who runs the business with her partner Nick Sweeting, said: “Since the late-night shopping, every day has been like a Saturday to us. The knock-on effect has been phenomenal.”

Christine Bentley, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, which organises the late-night shopping event, said: “Everyone had a good time on late-night shopping - shops were busy - it was a lovely atmosphere.

“Christmas trade seems to be as good as ever with customers coming from many miles around to look for items they cannot get in chain stores.”

Helen Warren, chairman of Budleigh in Business, said: “I did most of my Christmas shopping in Budleigh. It’s really good that people are shopping locally.”

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