IN the run up to Christmas, Inverurie traders have indicated that the town is positively booming.
Last year’s weather had a serious impact on Christmas trade but shopkeepers were looking at the bigger picture, drawing comparisons from previous years, not comparing trade to last year.
Murray McWilliam of Jessops said: “It’s been really busy throughout the month. I have no complaints whatsoever, but then we didn’t expect it to be anything else. There has been steady growth all year.
Judy Whyte of Mitchell’s said they had been busier than expected and reported an exceptionally big rush on hampers. “We’ve had such a busy morning. Fortnum and Mason’s computers went down and we got a sudden order for 1,000 hampers, so it’s all hands on deck. The bigger companies aren’t coping, but we are managing fine.”
Tongue in cheek, she added: “They should have come to Mitchell’s in the first place.”
Susan Evans of De-Zire also reported steady trade but added: “It’s been crazy this week. There have been last minute male shoppers and girls buying for themselves for Christmas Day and Hogmanay. We have had a phenomenal year – we’re up 25 per cent on last year.
We have a silk collection by Nicole de Carle, it’s exclusive to Selfridges and us and it has been causing a stir in our window.”
Speaking about her imminent move to the High street she said: “I’m very excited about having a bigger shop so we can expand our collections and our business.”
The newly opened pet store Pets at Home has also fared better than expected. Manager, Neil Jack said: It’s been really great – it has exceeded our targets and far, far exceeded our expectations.
“People have said how glad they are that we have come into the town. We are here to work with the community and the welfare of pets is paramount.”
Inverurie Traders chair, Scott Graham’ spoke of poor Sunday trading: “Sunday’s have been quite a disappointment. I think a lot of people will question whether it’s worth opening on Sundays next year.
“The St Andrew’s Day parade worked well to increase the footfall in the town, but it has generally been poor.
“Other than that, trade has been really good – you can’t go against figures from last year but all things being equal, we’re trading up.