Crucial weeks for retailers in the run-up to Christmas

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central - Credit: Archant

Town Topics with Ipswich Central

Hands up those of you who have finally relented and turned the heating on at home and in the office?

We finally gave in last Saturday – an especially cold day as I remember – and have spent most of the last week nudging the thermostat up and down as outside temperatures fluctuated.

Cries of “who turned this down, it’s freezing in here” have been closely followed by “good grief, it’s like the tropics, can’t we fling the door open to let some cool air in.”

It really doesn’t seem a year ago that we were having these late autumn family heated (or not, depending on whether it was a thermostat high or low day!) disputes.

I am sure it is an age thing, but has 2014 gone faster than any previous year?

One thing that I am thankful for is that, generally, businesses do seem much more confident than they did at the outset of the year. The UK and local economy has shown an improving trend, investment has begun to increase and employees are starting to spend money again.

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For retailers, the next few weeks are critical but, despite a slight wobble in the stock market recently, the signs are encouraging that they can finally look forward to a post-recession Christmas.

This economic downturn has been long and debilitating. Let’s hope that winter is not so, and that it is interrupted by a buoyant festive trading period for our town centre retailers. Each of us can help them as late night shopping beckons by committing to buying our gifts locally.

“Anyway, enough of Christmas, nudge the thermostat up a bit, it’s getting chilly in here again.”