Traders in Ipswich report changing habits in Christmas shoppers and a lack of early festive spirit

Last minute shoppers hit the high street in Ipswich in the last weekend before Christmas

Last minute shoppers hit the high street in Ipswich in the last weekend before Christmas - Credit: Archant

Traders in Ipswich have noticed people tightening the purse strings this festive season, with the last weekend before Christmas proving quiet.

A number of retailers have reported “more careful” spending by consumers.

But Alan Rayner, owner of retro-style menswear shop, Twist ‘n’ Shout, in St Stephen’s Lane, said that while trade was slow at the weekend, overall sales were up on last year’s Christmas period – which he counts as early November to the first week of January.

“Spending habits have been different – people have bought more gift vouchers, that has made a massive difference. People are just being more careful.”

Darren Allsop, owner of a ladies fashion market stall in the town centre, said profits were down on last year, and that Sunday trade had been particularly slow.

“We are hoping Monday and Tuesday will be better, people seem to have no Christmas spirit this year and I don’t know why.

“A lot of the stalls are quiet – you wouldn’t be able to tell from the volume of customers, they’re just not spending the money.”

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Carmen Williams, sales assistant at Spangle jewellery shop located in The Walk, said she had seen a change in people’s spending habits, with customers being more careful with their money and not spending so much per sale.

“We are usually tearing our hair out the weekend before Christmas but it may be because the week is longer before the day itself this year,” she added.

Owner of independent clothing store Fat Bottom Girl in St Nicholas Street, Sooz Miller said the weekend had been quiet.

“It just doesn’t seem the hustle and bustle that it was last year.”

Mark Nafi, owner of The Wharf gift shop in the town centre, said he had seen a steady flow of customers over the Christmas period.

“People seem to be spending slightly more per purchase than last year, which is encouraging”, he said.

If you still have shopping to do, see our guide to Christmas opening times here

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