Fakenham businesses on how fuel situation has hit their trade

We asked business owners in Fakenham what their week's trading has been like with the ongoing fuel shortages.

We asked business owners in Fakenham what their week's trading has been like with the ongoing fuel shortages. - 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.

Co-Owner of Scent with Love, Nicholas Godfrey-Cole, at his new shop in Fakenham's Upper Market. Pict

Co-Owner of Scent with Love, Nicholas Godfrey-Cole. - Credit: Archant

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.

Outside the new florists shop, Scent With Love, which has taken over from Rainbow Deli on Fakenham's

Outside the new florists shop, Scent With Love, which has taken over from Rainbow Deli on Fakenham's Upper Market. Picture: Aaron McMillan. - Credit: Archant

“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.

Shopping Local in Fakenham. Owner Janis Greenaway at The Larder, selling quality wholefoods. Picture

Owner Janis Greenaway at The Larder, selling quality wholefoods. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

“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.

Secrets, a clothing boutique on Norwich Street say the closure has stopped passing trade. Picture: S

Secrets, a clothing boutique on Norwich Street say the closure has stopped passing trade. Picture: Sheenah Alexander-Parsby - Credit: Archant

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.

Marion Peck, 56, from Sculthorpe

Marion Peck helps out in Crafty Ones in Fakenham. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

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.

Crafty Ones on Norwich Street in Fakenham.

Crafty Ones on Norwich Street in Fakenham. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

“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.

Owner of Splitz, Andre Baker, believes the closure of Norwich Street has been beneficial to business

Owner of Splitz, Andre Baker. - Credit: Archant

“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.

Andre Baker, who owns Splitz. Picture: Aaron McMillan

Andre Baker, who owns Splitz. Picture: Aaron McMillan - Credit: Archant

“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.

Owner of Special Moments, Nigel Maidstone outside his shop in Millers Walk.

Owner of Special Moments, Nigel Maidstone outside his shop in Millers Walk. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

“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.”

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