Fakenham businesses on how fuel situation has hit their trade
- Credit: Denise Bradley/Aaron McMillan
Thursdays are often the busiest day for Fakenham town centre, with the weekly market. But with the bad weather and the ongoing fuel crisis across the country, what sort of impact has that had on business in the town? Aaron McMillan found out.
Despite both signs of stability, and the reassurances there is no fuel shortage, this has not stopped long queues from forming at garages.
In the market town on September 30, it was the quietest the market had been for some time, with reports of some stalls not coming along. For the shops there, the sudden influx of footfall because not as many people are leaving the town to go to work, helped trade.
Nicholas Godfrey-Cole, co-owner of Scent with Love, a florist on the Market Place, said Thursday was the quietest he had ever seen the town.
“Today has been really rubbish, even with the market it was quieter than usual,” he said.
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“I could hear people saying that a lot of the big stalls did not come today.
“Whether that is the fuel or just people are not around, I do not know, but this week has been very quiet for me.
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“This is the quietest I have seen the town in the year I have been here.”
Along Norwich Street, the owner of The Larder, Janis Greenaway noticed that she had a quieter week as well.
“It goes a bit quiet when the children go back to school, hopefully, it starts to build back up towards Christmas,” she said.
“It has been quieter than usual this week, down a little bit of trade but not as bad as when we first had the covid lockdown. But we have still noticed a difference.”
However, it is not the same for everyone. Across from The Larder is Secrets, a clothing boutique owned by Sheenah Alexander-Parsby.
She said trade had been okay this last week.
“It has been okay, today has been the worse day of the week,” she said.
“There is not much difference, trade has been more or less the same as a usual week.”
Just up from Secrets is Crafty Ones, a relatively new shop in town.
The owner of the shop, Alice Scourfield had taken some items to trade on the market, and her mum, Marion Peck was looking after their shop.
Mrs Peck said trade had slowed down alongside the ongoing fuel situation.
“Thursdays are usually our busiest day of the week, but since Saturday it has been really quiet,” she said.
“I definitely feel that people are not coming shopping at the moment.
“I have seen the weather worse than this, and more people at the market."
Another clothes shop in the town, Spiltz, said they had a very mixed week when it comes to trade. However, the owner of the shop, Andre Baker, believes it is more down to holidaymakers taking advantage of the weather being the result of her slower days of trade.
“It has been a normal Thursday for me,” Mrs Baker said.
“Monday and Wednesday, both were very quiet.
“Tuesday and today (Thursday) have been normal with the amount of trade, what that means I’m not sure.
“Weather makes a lot of difference because we get quite a lot of holidaymakers. If it is nice they start by the coast and come here later in the day, or if the weather is bad they might come here to the shops, and go out in the afternoon."
In Miller’s Walk, Nigel Maidstone, owner of Special Moments, a card and ornaments shop said his week has been up and down.
“Start of the week was absolute rubbish but it got better,” he said.
“There were just no people around at the start of the week and I took about half of what I would have usually expected from the day on Monday.
“Tuesday was a bit better and today (Thursday) was alright.
“I would say all together, I have done alright. Selling a few ornaments it is the difference between a good day and a bad day.”