AS the rain continues to pour, it appears as though some Huddersfield business have been suffering a sales drought.
With last month being the wettest June since records began in 1910, businesses across the town are facing uncertainty.
Travel agents and outdoor clothing retailers are struggling to squeeze all their customers through the door while garden centres and clothing stores are heavily discounting all their summer stock in a bid to shift it before the end of the so-called summer.
Althams Travel Consultant Kathryn Crowther said: “We have just been inundated with people needing a holiday.
“Since the weather turned we have had lots of people just wanting to escape to the sunshine and our sales have been right up.
“Prices for holidays are set to go down in August and September, but there are still some magnificent holiday bargains to be had.”
Staff at Co-operative Travel have found similar patterns.
Huddersfield branch manager Kerry-Ann Furze said: “We usually find when the weather turns sour, sales pick up. The weather here makes people feel a little bit miserable and they need some sunshine.
“Bargain package deals have been particularly popular, especially in the Balearics, Spain and the Greek Islands.
“Prices for holidays in Greece are slightly down due to the country’s current economy. Businesses really need us to holiday out there and help keep them going.”
For those who can’t escape to the sun it seems they are indulging in some pampering.
Clare Dorotiak, manager of Oh So Gorgeous in Marsden said: “We have found that people just want to come in from the rain and feel better.
“They are trying out more of other treatments such as facials.
“Customers have been wary of getting a spray tan as the wet weather doesn’t give them a chance to dry.
“And not as many people are coming in for waxing as they are not wearing short dresses, but overall our sales have probably balanced because of manicures and facials.”
Kimberley Marshall from Koko Beauty in Kirkburton said the weather had only mildly affected business and although sales of treatment were high, she is seeing a few new faces through the door.
Established outdoor clothing retailer Blackburns in Moldgreen has been selling out of wellies and waterproofs.
Steve Ward, who has owned the business for 25 years, said: “You can’t get a pair of wellies for love or money.
“The awful weather is balancing out our books. We are playing catch up and selling now what really we should have sold between November and January such as waterproofs, outdoor jackets and boots.
“The only downside is we are not selling sandals and T-shirts. I have a friend who sells tents and in the time he normally sells 300, he has sold 28.
“It’s a tough time for retailers as our stock must be ordered 10 months in advance and we cannot predict what is going to happen.”
Women’s clothing store Pink Cadillac has discounted a large number of its summer clothes.
Owner Penny Burton said: “We are getting early delivery of our autumn collection. Some people are reverting to their winter clothes already – I have never known it like this.
“Everyone is having big summer sales and there are some wonderful bargains to be had.
“We wish weather reports would say sunny in the morning, however, so we can encourage people to come out shopping. Never mind the economy, the weather affects our shop more than anything.”
Small shops and big chain superstores alike are feeling the effects of the downpour.
Huddersfield B&Q senior manager Dave Neaverson believes that although Huddersfield might be one of the wettest towns in England, stores across the country are facing challenges due to the weather.
“A lot of the stuff in the garden centre should have been in gardens three or four weeks ago, but people just don’t want to go outside as it’s too wet.
“We order our stock a year in advance so that it can have a chance to grow in nurseries before people buy it at the garden centre.
“In regards to the leisure stock such as BBQs and garden furniture, we’ve got some really competitive sale prices and people can really pick up a great bargain.
“We are hoping for two weeks of glorious sunshine in August – it’s about time”.