Trading over the Christmas and New Year period in Rochester and Elmore showed mixed results.By Elaine Cooney
Trading over the Christmas and New Year period in Rochester and Elmore showed mixed results with some traders reporting sales were up on last year and others noticing a downward trend.
For the Criterion Hotel’s bottle shop, Christmas Day was one of the busiest days of the year.
Owner Adam Parker said while the pub and bistro was closed on Christmas Day, he was impressed with the Christmas trading period which saw a mixture of locals and tourists visiting the pub and bistro.
Victoria Hotel owner Danny Hayes said he found a 60 per cent growth in business in the Christmas period compared to the same time last year.
He said Christmas Eve was quieter than usual but Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and the Saturday before Christmas were busy.
Rochester Mitre 10 reported a 10 per cent increase in sales compared to Christmas last year.
Elmore’s Muddy Waters Gallery owner Judi Bilkey opened every day of the holidays, except Boxing Day.
Ms Bilkey said she made many sales on her upcycled, recycled and own fashion creations.
She said she sold more in the three weeks leading up to Christmas than she did since she opened the gallery in October.
Many of the smaller stores in Elmore were closed for the Christmas period, which left some tourists disappointed.
Rochester’s Kits Kafé was the only café in Rochester open for the Christmas period and was ‘‘flat out’’, according to owner Shane Walkley.
Mr Walkley said many of his customers were regular passers-through who made a point of stopping at the café.
However, Rochester Sportspower and Rochester Market noticed sizeable drops in sales during the Christmas period compared to last year.
Sportspower owner Darren Pain said the shop did not have enough people through the door before Christmas to boost sales.
Mr Pain said shoppers started late this year and the first busy day he saw was the Thursday before Christmas.
Rochester Market owner Angelo Ciccone said his sales dropped 20 per cent from last year.
‘‘The economy is up the creek,’’ he said.
‘‘Too many people are using (credit) cards during the year and wages are too low,’’ he said.
‘‘By this time of year they don’t have any money left.’’
He said many people were shopping out of town.
Elmore IGA owner Lance Mitchell reported slower sales this year and put it down to the timing of Christmas and shoppers going out of town to buy gifts.
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