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Cold weather means challenging time for Norfolk businesses

PUBLISHED: 06:32 19 January 2013

A quieter than normal market in Wymondham a casualty of the snow. Photograph Simon Parker

A quieter than normal market in Wymondham a casualty of the snow. Photograph Simon Parker


High Street firms continue to feel the pinch caused by the cold weather.

Jarrold, which sells clothes, jewellery, books stationery and sportswear, among other items, and has stores in Cromer and Wymondham as well as its flagship store in Norwich, said the last few days of snow has been “very challenging”.

Michelle Jarrold, development manager for the business, said: “Business is not great to be honest. Our staff have been amazing because they have battled in. It has been incredible how the staff have managed to get into work.”

She said yesterday there had been a 70pc drop in customer footfall this week, compared to an average week, but the store was “fully functioning”.

But she added one area of the business that had been successful during the snowy period was the Pilch store, which sells sportswear.

Ms Jarrold said the store would probably close at 5.30pm instead of 6pm today

One small independent business which has remained open in Norfolk is Dozen Artisan Bakery on Gloucester Street, Norwich. Owner Tom Harding, pictured above with Eve Montagu-Shaw and Laurence Carroll, said: “The snow has impacted on trade but not massively because people have made the effort to get here. We are probably 10pc down on customers but January is usually quieter.”

He added he was expecting decent trade today because the store bakes special goods on Saturdays.

A spokesman from John Lewis said: “Due to the bad weather across the UK, there will inevitably be an impact on trade this week as many customers struggle to get out and about.”

Jeanette Thurtle, East Anglia development manager for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said that small businesses were “resilient and resourceful” and tried their best to carry on during bad weather by introducing flexible working hours. FSB research showed a quarter of small firms had to close, many for at least five days costing them up to £5,000, during the heavy snowfall of 2011.

Photo: Steve Adams

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