THE festive season provided a major fillip for traders.
Lytham’s Stringers store reported record sales, while JR Taylor of St Annes also saw activity up on the previous year as shoppers thronged the Fylde’s town centres.
Jenny Clarke, merchandise director at Stringers, said: “We had a record week in the run-up to Christmas in both the department store and at our Homelife shop.
“First day of sale for us was also a record day in trade terms, with customers queuing outside waiting for us to open the doors and over the first few days of sale we are showing a seven per cent increase on last year, which demonstrates fantastic customer support in a difficult climate.”
The JR Taylor store in Garden Street, St Annes, started its sale on December 20 and manager Susan Everett said: “It has gone very well and we are up on last year.
“Christmas Eve was absolute bedlam, with the fact that it was a Saturday making sure there were plenty of people about.
“The sales have been proving very busy and we were delighted with trade over the festive period.”
St Annes Chamber of Trade chairman John Moxham said: “There were plenty of people about and trade was good. I think there was considerable evidence that the high cost of fuel has prompted people to shop more locally this year.”
Special festive attractions such as the synthetic ice rink and the five-day pre-Christmas market provided plenty of extra interest in Lytham.
A Boxing Day antique and collectors’ fair at Lowther Pavilion also proved popular.
Marc Whitehead, of the town’s Enterprise Partnership and proprietor of Exquisite Shoes, said: “It was a good festive period. We were especially busy between Christmas and New Year and I think we all benefited from the weather being relatively kind after the disruption 12 months ago.”
It was also an encouraging picture in Kirkham, where Elaine Silverwood, chairman of Kirkham and Wesham Business group, said: “After last year’s weather disruption, we were relieved and happy to see our shops very busy in the two weeks up to Christmas.”