TRADERS in Taunton town centre have given a mixed reaction to the Christmas shopping period.

John Merrick, of Canns in North Street, said they have noticed an increase in trade compared to last year, but Jan Garner, manager at Boutique 28 in St James Street, said she has had to start her sales early to entice shoppers.

“It’s definitely slower and I think a lot of independent stores are noticing that,” she said.

Tim Ackland, of Mr Miles tearoom in High Street, and Mark Eden, store manager at Next, were both pleased with trading this Christmas.