RETAILERS in Huddersfield have embarked on a “make or break” two weeks of trading.
The final fortnight of the year provides a last chance for stores to regain ground lost during the past few months when sales have broadly slumped.
Kingsgate manager Jonathan Hardy said takings among the centre’s tenants last weekend were down by 5% to 10% on normal – but this week offered a chance to make up some of the deficit.
He said: “There is no getting away from the fact that trading is tough, but the retailers generally say the figures are getting there.
“The weekend was good in that sales were no worse than they had hoped. We are not up on last year, but we are not as far down as many other retail centres.”
Mr Hardy said traders now had a full week before Christmas to set the tills ringing.
The start of the school holidays meant more families would be out and about – while this week was also when shoppers traditionally shun the hassle of queuing to park at out-of-town centres to complete their Christmas ‘shop’ back on the high street.
Mr Hardy said: “We expect to have a good week this week, but it is going to be tough and every penny and pound is going to have to be fought for.”
Mr Hardy said some retailers had already started the ‘new year’ sales on some product lines – and from Boxing Day the sales would get under way in earnest.
“We have held our own throughout 2011 with higher footfall and we are not a million miles from where we were last year.”