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Retail signs looking good for city centre

PUBLISHED: 09:48 18 April 2013 | UPDATED: 09:48 18 April 2013

Shoppers in Gentlemans Walk , Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Shoppers in Gentlemans Walk , Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Norwich city centre is showing signs of the economic “bounce back” identified in a new national retail survey.

However, high streets in other towns across Norfolk are still locked in a struggle against the economic downturn.

The divided picture has emerged after a study carried out for the charity Action for Market Towns which points to an improving situation for traders across Britain.

The survey, based on research in 83 towns, showed that footfall has increased by 18pc at “busy” times of the day since 2011 – although the figure is still 22pc down on 2009.

Meanwhile, the average number of vacant units in towns is 8pc (down from 9pc last year)

A spokesman for the Norwich Business Improvement District (Bid) said, so far this year, weeks unaffected by poor weather had shown significant increases in footfall – 12pc for one week in January – compared to last year.

The city’s vacant shops rate remained well below the national average and there had been an encouraging influx of new businesses, including Jamie Oliver’s restaurant and the retailer JoJo Maman Bébé.

She said: “Norwich remains in the top 10 for shopping retail destinations in the UK.”

Painting a less buoyant picture, Great Yarmouth town centre manager Jonathan Newman said: “During the last four months of 2012 footfall was up 1.4pc against 2011 but, influenced by the weather, it has been down an average of 2pc so far in 2013.”

Chairman of Cromer Chamber of Trade Tracey Khalil said while traders were “cautiously optimistic”, there was little sign of footfall increasing.

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3 comments

  • There maybe a few signs of retail recovery in parts of Norwich, but the EEN yet again does not say the reasons why the smaller Companies close in the first place. Prime example was Cash Providers in Dove Street. Owners called it a day simply cause of the extortionate amount of business rates and also the rent charged. The property has been empty for 4 months now and is owned by Norwich City Council. It seems they prefer premises to be empty rather than reduce rent, which is ironic considering how much money they say they need, or should that be claim to need? Also I have heard whispers that rates, and rents will be going up on Norwich Market, so again Norwich City Council you will push traders away cause they may not be able to afford to run stalls any longer. On another note Norwich Market, what exactly are the traders paying service charges for? The Market is not swept most nights, and also on Sundays the Toilets are closed, well unless their is a foreign market nearby then they are opened especially. Good in a way but those Foreign Market traders to not pay a service charge, and maybe next year time, they should pay a days rent and a partial service charge. The Normal Market traders are finding times tough as it is, so Norwich City Council, help them a bit more, they deserve that at least..

    Report this comment

    che bramley

    Thursday, April 18, 2013

  • When I saw the headline "retail signs look good" I honestly thought they had made prettier signs saying "To Let" for all the vacant store

    Report this comment

    markt74

    Thursday, April 18, 2013

  • Retail so good eh EEN? get a reporter with a Camera and go into the Royal Arcade. Three empty shops could be more? And if you look where Transformers Hairdressers used to be, is there is a notice on the door, as to why they closed. Care to photograph and print it?

    Report this comment

    che bramley

    Thursday, April 18, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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