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Most traders in Cromer remain positive despite hit to high street

PUBLISHED: 11:39 19 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:39 19 December 2018

Julie Cole owns Benedicts Cove giftshop in Garden Street, Cromer where her son Benedict Cole also works. Pictures: David Bale

Julie Cole owns Benedicts Cove giftshop in Garden Street, Cromer where her son Benedict Cole also works. Pictures: David Bale

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Traders in Cromer are making the best of the high street downturn that is affecting retailers across the country.

Jane Clarke owns Lily B boutiques shop in Church Street, Cromer. Pictures: David BaleJane Clarke owns Lily B boutiques shop in Church Street, Cromer. Pictures: David Bale

Max Murphy, who runs Upstairs Downstairs in Church Street with partner Emma Dent, said: “It’s been all right for us, although there has been a decline in footfall. We have a nice range of people coming to us.

“I think the doom and gloom is coming from the media.”

However, they said they had noticed shoppers leaving it particularly late to buy presents for Christmas this year.

Happyfeet children’s shoeshop in Hamilton Road is owned by Alison Ewbank, who said: “We close this Thursday and don’t reopen until December 27. Parents don’t have a budget to buy shoes for children at Christmas - they just have a budget to buy presents.

Max Murphy and Emma Dent are joint owners at Upstairs Downstairs giftshop in Church Street, Cromer. Pictures: David BaleMax Murphy and Emma Dent are joint owners at Upstairs Downstairs giftshop in Church Street, Cromer. Pictures: David Bale

“I set up late night opening in Cromer a couple of weeks ago to try and get some positivity back in the town. People are disheartened because of internet shopping, but I have to fit the shoes, so people have to come in, rather than shop online.”

However, Julie Cole, who owns Benedict’s Cove in Garden Street, where her son Benedict also works, was less optimistic.

She said: “It’s hard-going. We have got some local support, and some customers do all their Christmas shopping with us. But some people in Cromer shop online, and Norwich is the first thought, rather than Cromer, for some Christmas shoppers. We would like to see more support from the immediate area. We need more support all-year round.

“We can’t afford to do sales as the margin’s so low. We will have been open two years in March and we are still not making enough profit to take a salary home.”

Happyfeet childrens shoeshop in Hamilton Road, Cromer is owned by Alison Ewbank. Pictures: David BaleHappyfeet childrens shoeshop in Hamilton Road, Cromer is owned by Alison Ewbank. Pictures: David Bale

Jane Clarke owns Lily B boutiques shop in Church Street. She said: “It’s a difficult time for retail, generally. Christmas has been okay, but Black Friday spoils it. It killed business. Everyone thinks that big shops will have discounts on Black Friday and go in to Norwich.

“If they kept to the old shopping cycle, with sales in January, life would be easier.”

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