Shop Local in Clevedon for Christmas
- Credit: Archant
Each week in the run-up to Christmas, the Times will be speaking with local independent shops to see how they are coping and what support they need during the coronavirus pandemic using our #ShopLocal campaign.
Business in Clevedon town centre are seeing a variety of effects on their businesses, some of which have been operating in the town for almost half a century.
Julie Bisacre owns the Present Company in Station Road, and at the start of the year she was very confident in the future prosperity of her business. She said: “We had a fabulous business and getting a lot of sales and it was thriving.”
Now, seven months into the pandemic, Julie is not feeling as confident.
Despite managing to continue selling products from home during lockdown, she has noticed a drop in visitors due to less people in the town.
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Diversifying the items she has on sale, Julie hopes to continue to be successful.
She added: “I look to what people are needing, such as masks, hand sanitisers, and other stock. I offer home delivery and can set aside special time if anyone needs to come when it is less busy, or they can order what they want and have it wrapped up ready for them to pick up.”
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Julie has three part-time staff and they have had hours reduced so they can be kept on.
Alan Winter, owner of Jet Shoes in Lower Queen’s Road, which has been a presence in the town for 45 years, and Clevedon Fashion in Old Street, remains as confident in his businesses now as he was at the beginning of the pandemic. He said: “We are not paying rent as I own the buildings and through the years we have learnt to keep a bit of money back in case there are problems in the economy – just as we’ve had this year, and we’ve come back quite strong.”
Simon Bryant owns Bryant Jewellers, in The Triangle. He is not as confident in his business as he was before the pandemic and is asking people to continue shopping locally.
Speaking of the reasons for his business’ success, Simon said: “For us people need their watches repaired, jewellery valued, buy gifts for friends and family, or people need to treat themselves.”