Shoppers choose city

Shoppers at Trinity Walk, Wakefield
Shoppers at Trinity Walk, Wakefield

tradeRS and retailers are reporting a prosperous festive season as they continue to battle the ecomonic crisis.

Shoppers chose to stay in the city taking advantage of Christmas bargains on the high streets of their own towns and in the city centre.

And shopping centre bosses said most of their major retailers smashed Christmas targets.

Trinity Walk manager Susan Mendoza said Wakefield shoppers had shown this year that their entire Christmas hauls could be snapped up without leaving the city.

She said: “It has been fantastic, we were so busy last week and even busier this week with the sales.

“With all the big name retailers, as well as the independent shops across the city, people can definitely do all their Christmas shopping in Wakefield now.

“I am delighted with how our shops have done.”

Ridings bosses said the centre also had a successful few weeks, particularly on Boxing Day and Tuesday.

Most smaller, independent retailers said they found it tough - but held their own in the face of a recession.

Terry McEvoy, chairman of the Normanton Chamber of Trade, said he was “surprised” at how busy the town’s high street was.

He said: “It was nice to see lots of people queuing. Traders may have been slightly down on previous years but bearing in mind the financial situation there were plenty of shoppers and I’m sure traders would give good reports.”

Andrew Earnshaw, of Horbury’s Chamber of Trade, said a late-night shopping event at the end of November had helped the town’s trade.

He said: “I wouldn’t say Horbury has had a brilliant year but considering the times we are in it wasn’t too bad. Shops were busy in the three days leading up to Christmas.”

Mark Ellerker, of Building Ossett Business (BOB), said businesses had worked hard to promote each other over the Christmas spell but it was too early to say how well they had done.

Dave Jenkinson, manager at Hampsons garden centre on Denby Dale Road, said it had been a successful Christmas.

He said: “We have recently started doing food here and that has really kept us well this Christmas.”

Nigel Hofmann, of Hofmann’s butchers, said it had been a “difficult” year but that Christmas trade had gone well.

The family firm has just opened a new store on Teall Street, right on the walkway between Trinity Walk and the Ridings.

Mr Hofmann said: “I am delighted with trade at the new store.

“Shopping habits are changing a bit and people are now more likely to buy larger cuts of meat at supermarkets. But at Christmas people are looking for something a bit more special so it is always a good time for us.”

Andrew Jones, of Wakefield’s Sony Centre, said the store had been five times busier this Christmas than at other times of year.

And Sainsbury’s bosses said the Trinity Walk store had thousands of customers through its doors each day in the run-up to Christmas.

Deputy store manager Jemma Kameen said: “We were busy right up until Christmas Eve with people stocking up at the last minute.”