'Steady' flow of shoppers in Ipswich town centre ahead of Christmas
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
Ipswich town centre had a "steady" flow of Christmas shoppers over the weekend, retailers have said as they hope to cash in on the festive spirit.
There has been mixed reaction to Christmas shopping this year with some retailers saying it's slower and others seeing an upturn in business coming to their shops.
Matt Holden of Langden Games said: "It's been good and we have only recently moved from upstairs.
"I think it's been a good choice. We have noticed an upturn as we have gone from a small premise to a large premise.
"Online has been good and because the Covid restrictions have not been silly. There is still a lot of stuff in store we can do.
"It's been good seeing people and they pop in and having a shop window has been really positive.
"For us, it's difficult to buy this sort of thing for people. They usually come in with a list they've been given.
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"We've done better after Covid than pre-Covid as people couldn't get certain items, not from us."
Sue Bates of newly opened Barnardo's in Ipswich Sailmakers shopping centre, said: "It's been very busy, Christmas cards and Christmas jumpers have all been sold out by the start of December.
"They sold quicker than I expected.
"We have a Christmas range and ladies shopping has been popular.
"November was busy as well but we only opened then so maybe because we're new or it could be Christmas shopping."
Kara Brooks of Calendar Club, in St Matthew's Street, said: "It's been okay. We weren't here last year so we're a little down on previous years.
"Yesterday [Saturday, December 12] was one of the busiest days we've had.
"Now I think it busier than November. You get 75% getting Christmas presents but you get people coming in for their diary.
"Most popular calendar is the Suffolk one and then we got the football and Cliff Richard is quite popular.
"We've got Ipswich Town doing well and Liverpool and Tottenham are quite popular."
John Shone, who works at both Warhamer and Ipswich Outreach Shop in St Mathew's Street, said: "It's been picking up. People coming in grabbing stuff and then going because of the Covid situation.
"People have mentioned it's a bit of a concern. They're not staying home but they're getting what they need and not lingering."
Steven Long of Hopsters beer shop in St Nicholas Street said: "it's been a bit funny this year with the weekends.
"It's been steady but not just been made rushed off our feet like usual before Christmas.
"It's generally okay for us. We sell a lot of Ipswich Town football beers this time of year."
Antonio Bellini, owner of the Italian Shirt Shop in St Peter's Street, said: "I don't know what's happened the last few weeks.
"November has not been so busy in eight years but it seems to have slowed down the last week.
"I have a feeling a lot of people are holding back. I don't if its the new restrictions. It's just not as busy."
A spokeswoman for Procter's Sausages in the Walk agreed, saying: "We are not getting the orders we had been getting.
"It was busy in November. I don't know what it is. People not wanting to be stuck with a bunch of food before Christmas."
Zoe Woods from Crafty Baba in St Peter's Street said: "I don't think the face masks have put people off.
"The run-up to Christmas is not busy for us and people doing crafts were coming to us a lot more at the end of November.
"Our customers have had no problems wearing masks.
"I think it's great they've reintroduced them as we have more checks people coming in may have Covid.
"My daughter caught Covid recently and was asymptomatic. It was picked up with a lateral flow test and I got it and self-isolated.
"I cannot afford my staff to be coming down left right and centre. I have only a few part-time staff.
"If there is another lockdown I hope we are properly compensated as last time we did not get so much money."