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How Storm Gareth is changing what is in Norwich's shops

PUBLISHED: 09:25 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:25 15 March 2019

Irene Astley, Owner of Imelda's Shoe Boutique in the Norwich Lanes.

Irene Astley, Owner of Imelda's Shoe Boutique in the Norwich Lanes.

Archant

Norwich has been a target of storm Gareth's ferocious gusts of wind, which have reached speeds of 60mph in some areas.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning because of Storm Gareth. Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA WireThe Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning because of Storm Gareth. Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire

Twinned with episodes of torrential rain, it is perhaps unsurprising that the city’s businesses have been affected by the sudden changes in weather - or that the miserable conditions are influencing what we are buying.

Irene Astley, owner of Imelda’s Shoe Boutique, on Guildhall Hill, has been swapping around seasonal stock over the past few days.

She said she “had to laugh” that people were coming in store for winter boots the day after she had changed all the displays to sandals and summer shoes.

She said: “Two weeks ago everyone was here shopping for their holidays and now I’m getting all the winter stock back out.”

Meanwhile, Tim Benz, a menswear sales associate at Jarrold, said: “Footfall across Norwich is always significantly less when there is poor weather but when people are buying, it’s completely out of season.”

He said spring and summer stock is stacked up on the shelves, yet their popularity has dropped due to the storm.

“People are coming in for hats and scarves instead,” he said.

But he said there were some shoppers who shrugged off the bleak weather and continued to start their summer shopping, buying swimwear and sunglasses.

When asked about the best-selling goods over the last few days, another store worker said: “Umbrellas. It’s the most popular item I’ve been putting through the till over the past few days.”

She said many buyers had come into the city unprepared for the weather - “an umbrella is one of those unexpected purchases to see them through the rest of their shopping”.

And it seems it is not just humans that need protection from stormy weather.

The market’s pet stall said they usually see more people buying coats for their animals when there has been some heavy rain.

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