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Somerset traders feeling optimistic after January sales
TRADERS in Taunton Deane are cautiously optimistic about 2013 after promising January sales.
Hatchers department store on High Street traded on Boxing Day for only the second time in its history and reported sales figures which were up on last year.
Director Mark Raisey said: “We are happy to be on the right side of plus and trading on Boxing Day was pretty good.
“There is a lot of doom and gloom at the moment which eats away at people’s confidence but we are doing well and there are still good bargains to be had.”
Next opened an hour later for their January sales, which saw a queue of 130 people outside its doors at 6am.
Store manager Mark Eden said: “The store has been quite profitable throughout the season. “Taunton’s experiencing a revival.”
BHS, in North Street, is on target for this year and remains profitable.
The store has even taken on three more staff.
A spokesman said: “At the moment, we are on track and although we get a lot of returns in January we do an incentive and put the price of those items on a gift card putting money back into the store.”
Department store Debenhams, which has a store in North Street and its finance headquarters in Taunton, said like-for-like sales rose 5% in the five weeks to January 5, achieving its highest ever sales in December.
Wellington gift shop Cloud 9 had a late surge in sales just before Christmas.
Owner Sam Parr said: “With Christmas falling on a Tuesday people were doing their shopping a lot later.
“I think the days are gone where people prepared months in advance.
“January was going okay up until this week but we are looking forward to a good period around Valentine’s.”