Santa kind to most traders

The queue outside Turnbulls at 8am on Christmas Eve.
The queue outside Turnbulls at 8am on Christmas Eve.
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Tills have been quietly jingling as businesses enjoyed residents and tourists shopping locally at Christmas.

And while some have done better than others it is hoped that there will be even better results with free parking coming into force in the spring.

On Christmas Eve, customers were queuing along Market Street from 7.30am to pick up their meat and orders from Turnbull’s butcher’s.

Owner Mark Turnbull said: “It has probably been the strongest Christmas we have ever had.

“We had a tremendously successful one last year and we are slightly up on that.

“It’s nice to see that people still want local produce.

“We are very pleased with how it has gone.”

Carlo Biagioni, chairman of Alnwick Chamber of Trade, said that late-night shopping events in the run up to Christmas had been ‘worth it’ but added that there was still a mix of feelings among traders.

He said: “I think those that rely on tourist trade have done well but I know some of the small retailers haven’t done as well.

“The late-night shopping was worth it, House and Home, Marilyn and Melrose, The Emporium and restaurants all said they had good trade.

“I think when the free parking comes in April that will help more.

“We are also going to do more about Small Business Saturday this year and make it bigger and better.

“We only had two weeks notice so we are going to build on that.”

Caroline Stewart, who runs Bari Tea in Alnwick said the town was mobbed with shoppers on the weekend after Christmas.

She added: “We’ve done pretty well and I am quite pleased. Some days we have been really busy others quieter but hopefully it will help us get through January and February when we need it.”

Mark Jones, from Zecca in Amble and I Won’t Tell in Alnwick, said the festive period was ‘well up on last year’.

There were also reports that shoppers in Sainsbury’s, Alnwick, were queuing to the back of the store to pay at checkouts.