Sales buoyant again over festive season

Harpers, Sheaf Street, Daventry
Harpers, Sheaf Street, Daventry

The festive season looks to have been a good one for many Daventry traders with some reporting a bumper time for sales.

After several years of declines and stagnations, this year’s festive season appears to have seen shops’ takings on the rise again.

Dawn Smith, manager of the Air Ambulance charity shop in Foundry Walk, said: “The run-up to Christmas was excellent for us, very busy.

“We also won an award for having the highest turnover in 2013 of Air Ambulance shops in Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland.

“However, from the Monday just before Christmas it dropped right off.

“Now we’re busy again, but that’s with donations of Christmas presents! The start of January is a time for us to go through all that new stock.”

Penny Moore, manager of the British Heart Foundation shop in Bowen Square, said: “We hit all our targets and budgets, but our Christmas cards sold really well. In the week before Christmas we sold £1,100 worth, and now we’re sold out.”

Peter Harper, who owns clothes store Harpers in Sheaf Street, said: “In my sector Christmas runs from November 25 to January 5.

“They say that the period covers 10 per cent of the year, but delivers 20 per cent of your turnover.

“This year I’m delighted with how we’ve done. The only thing is if there were more stores like mine in town then it could be even better. People are more likely to go to shop somewhere with a selection of similar stores; that’s why I’m sorry Exit closed.

“We’re up on last year, and the past four or five years have been really tough. And I think it’s down to the staff really. Clearly having the right things in stock is important first of all and price, but people can find things easily now online. They key is having staff that are engaging, that know the products and can guide and help people who aren’t exactly sure what is right for them.

“My staff are bright, intelligent and personable and I believe that makes all the difference. People like shopping if the experience is good, and they are more likely to come back too.”