Christmas shopping proves a mixed bag

PICTURE BY GARETH EASTON PHOTOGRAPHY 07752 666 522'PRINCES STREET BUSY WITH CHRISTMAS SHOPPERS.
PICTURE BY GARETH EASTON PHOTOGRAPHY 07752 666 522'PRINCES STREET BUSY WITH CHRISTMAS SHOPPERS.
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Some of Cupar’s shops are reporting healthy sales during the festive season despite fears that consumer spending hasn’t recovered from the double dip recession.

A recent report by the Office for National Statistics said retail sales failed to grow in November but some of the independent shops in Cupar have experienced higher than expected takings in the build up to Christmas.

However, some retailers in the town have experienced a quieter than expected December and will be looking for a boost in the January sales.

Graeme Black, owner of Funky Rascals, said: “Its been pretty good for us.

“We are up on last year and I’ve noticed more people about town in general, which is great to see.

“The weather hasn’t helped us but it has been pretty steady throughout since November and, of course, you always get customers looking for last minute gifts right up until closing time on Christmas eve.

“We have exceeded the target we set ourselves so it has been a positive festive season for us.

“But I must admit we are looking forward to a break now!”

And it was a similar story at Nappy Pin and Toymaster where manager Paul Stewart said Christmas sales had exceeded their expectations.

“It has been very good over the past month or so,” he told the Herald.

“The weather hasn’t helped of course and really hindered us at the weekend but overall I would have to say we have done better than I expected.

“It certainly has not been the doom and gloom I have heard so much about.

“And Christmas Eve always brings the last-minute panickers out so I’m sure we will be kept busy.”

But the picture across all retailers in Cupar isn’t as positive.

James Hair, treasurer of the Association of Businesses in Cupar and District (ABCD), told the Herald that while some shops have had a positive Christmas period, others haven’t done as well as they had hoped.

“I think the best way to describe the overall picture is to say it has been mixed,” he explained.

“Some seem to be doing well while other are finding it fairly hard going. It depends very much on the sector and what sort of niche the business is operating in.”