Icy streets and lockdown slows footfall for essential traders

Snow and ice has led to quiet streets in North Walsham.

Snow and ice has led to quiet streets in North Walsham. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Essential traders have said a combination of lockdown and icy conditions have led to a downturn in trade.

Shopkeepers in North Walsham town centre say deep snow and slippery ice has caused a further decrease in footfall, which was already low due to the pandemic.

Ben Youngs at North Walsham Garden Centre. Pic: Archant

Ben Youngs at North Walsham Garden Centre. Pic: Archant

Ben Youngs, who owns North Walsham Garden Centre, said it had seen quiet all week despite the best efforts of staff to make the area safe for customers.

He said: "It's been pretty quiet, we've tried to make the best of it and scrape the snow and ice off the car park but we've not had as much trade as usual.

"It is our quieter time anyway but we've made the best of it and did a bit of curling on the car park.

"Most of our local staff made it in but we told the ones on the coast not to bother and take a week off, so we've had a few staff in and managed to keep going." 

Despite slow business, the garden centre sold out of sledges within an hour when snow first began to fall at the start of the week.

Snow and ice has led to quiet streets in North Walsham.

Snow and ice has led to quiet streets in North Walsham. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

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At Swallows Coffee Shop, owner Julie Cameron said she had not seen the same downturn as the shops, with loyal customers continuing to turn out in the cold.

Julie Cameron's Swallows Coffee Shop is moving due to coronavirus rules. Picture: Supplied by Julie

Julie Cameron of Swallows Coffee Shop. - Credit: Supplied by Julie Cameron

She said: "I've just got such a wonderful, loyal customer base and when they're out for their daily walks I'm still seeing people, which is lovely. We've had a steady trickle of customers.

"I'm only round the corner so I can get in fine but the path was treacherous so I had to walk on the road." 

Colin Page, owner of CD Page confectioner and tobacconist in North Walsham. Pictures: David Bale

Colin Page, owner of CD Page confectioner and tobacconist in North Walsham. Pictures: David Bale - Credit: Archant

Colin Page, who owns CD Page tobacconists and sweet shop, said snow and ice plus lockdown had led to a quiet week of trade.

He said: "It's been quite quiet really, we've kept going but things have not been very busy.

"Some of us have cleared the snow ourselves, I've cleared a bit out here just in front of the road so people can come across and several shopkeepers have done that, but it's really only today that the town council are out there doing a bit.

"My journey in hasn't been too bad, you just have to take a bit of care on the way in and hope for the best."

Snow and ice has led to quiet streets in North Walsham.

Snow and ice has led to quiet streets in North Walsham. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske


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