Saturday, May 10, 2014
Sidmouth business owners say they have escaped the spectre of the lingering recession and are looking forward to the summer.
The weather continues to play a pivotal role in how shops fare but a sunny Easter weekend provided a welcome start to the season.
Anne Barratt, who has run Fitzalan Gems for the last 14 years, said: “Things here have really picked up since Easter. Customer confidence is definitely up since the recession and we’re starting to get as busy as we were before.”
Shelley Griffiths, who owns Vintage Green and recently opened Pobby and Blue, said there is a noticeable difference in the clientele just between Old Fore Street and Market Place.
“We get so many more holidaymakers here, a lot more people staying at the hotels,” she said. “Our best ever week was Easter – we did double takings.
“It feels different now the recession is less of an issue but people are still conscious of how they spend their money.”
White Horse owner Bassan Haidar said his diners are very much weather-dependent.
“If you have good weather you do much better,” he said. “Sidmouth is such a beautiful place but the weather affects it quite a lot.”
Nathalie Pyro, who works at Forever England, said: “It was a fantastic bank holiday, everyone was out in high spirits and enjoying individual shops – everyone needs to keep on coming down to Sidmouth.”
Hotels and restaurants were also shouting about their bank holiday successes on Twitter.
Blini’s Café and Bar tweeted: “We’ve had a great bank holiday weekend serving up our delicious coffees to locals and visitors alike.”
The Royal York and Faulkner added: “We’ve had a fabulous weekend here, enjoying the sunshine and a beautiful bank holiday here in sunny Sidmouth.”