Updated: Apr 24, 2019
Coastal shops and those based in tourist destinations reported record levels of trade this weekend as the hottest Easter on record encouraged people outdoors.
In Plymouth, Devon, Harbourside Fish & Chips, which is situated right in the heart of the tourist area, got off to a slow start at the beginning of the Easter holidays but as soon as the weather picked up, so too did trade.
Owner Sarah Lock comments: “We had the busiest good Friday on record and the Saturday, Sunday and Monday were also extremely busy for us too. Overall it has been the busiest Easter weekend on record.”
It was the same story for Krispies in Exmouth, Devon, where temperatures of 24C brought people in their droves to the seaside town. As a result, the takeaway served a huge 500kg of fish and 3kg of potatoes and got through 350kg of batter and an impressive 10 litres of vinegar!
Owner Kelly Barnes comments: “Across the weekend, we were 60% up on last year. The staff were fantastic, we had 15 on shift and with our new range we had fitted back in October we had an average wait time of 15 minutes.”
“Good Friday was a record day but the whole of last week was the busiest we’ve ever been.”
“Lots of people commented on our award with people travelling from New Zealand, Boston Massachusetts and California. These guys were on holiday elsewhere in the UK and made the special journey to us.”
While coastal shops benefited from the weather, many inland shops suffered from lower footfall or experienced surges in trade at different times of the day to their regular pattern.
Nigel Hodgson, owner of Hodgson’s Chippy in Lancaster, Lancashire, comments: “Because we’re not on the coast, the Friday lunchtime was lower than usual, but tea time was very good as people came in on their way home from days out. So we lost a bit on the lunch but gained it at teatime. Usually, Saturday is really busy for us but this weekend it was really quiet, Easter Sunday trade was down as the weather was good and Monday lunchtime was slow, with tea time OK. So I would say, overall, we were probably on a par with a normal weekend, but we expected that because of the weather and where we are located.”
Trade varied at nearby Nana Jan’s in Chorley, Lancashire, too with a busier than usual Thursday but a quieter Friday. Director Hollie Dearden comments : “We have a lot of businesses around us so Thursday we saw a massive trade as people were finishing work and coming in, and that really took us by surprise.
"Good Friday was then very, very quiet as the workers weren’t around, so trade was probably about 50% down. I admit I was terrified at first as I had all this fish out and it was so quiet, but when the sun went down it did happen for us. We probably did a full evening trade in two and a half hours and it was all fish orders, which was brilliant."
Taking the decision on Friday to close on Easter Sunday and reopen as usual on Monday, Hollie adds: "Had it rained all Easter weekend, trade would definitely have been better for us!”