Shop owners in Burnham-On-Sea have seen a positive summer of trade, but some are reporting customers are scaling back their spending due to the rising cost of living.
The warm summer weather boosted visitor numbers in the area, but that has not translated to a boost in trade for all shops and businesses.
Colin Morris, who runs GW Hurleys newsagents and two other shops in the town centre, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “It has been busy for us at times over the summer but we are finding people are generally concerned about spending given the warnings about the rising cost of living – it definitely is affecting people.”
“I think trade is generally down about a third on what we’d hoped.”
Satnam Singh, who runs Burnham Shopping Centre in the High Street, adds: “The summer weather really helped us – we had a busy holiday period with customers coming to us for low-priced summer clothing.”
“With the high price of fuel and rising awareness about the environment, people seem to have been staying local rather than travelling so much to Bristol and Weston.”
“Time will tell what will happen next — it will be difficult for everyone, including businesses with high overheads when energy costs are raised at unjustifiable rates.”
Meanwhile, ice cream business Little Italy On Sea, which opened in the Spring on Burnham’s North Esplanade, has had a busy first season.
Owner Karl Rawlins says: “It has been a great summer season – we couldn’t have asked for better weather! That said, we would like to see more done to improve the seafront here in Burnham to make it more attractive to visitors all year round with extra facilities.”
And Carrie-Anne Davies, who runs Carrie-Anne’s gift shop in Burnham High Street, says: “Trade has returned to normal for us this summer. It has been a good season. People seem to have been saving up for their gifts and visiting us.”