BRUSHING off the January blues, traders in Gloucester are pulling out the stops to keep business ticking over in the quietest month of the year.
Justin Hudson, owner of Butlers bar, in Eastgate Street, is putting on drinks promotions – even at the weekend – in a bid to keep the punters coming through the doors.
He said: “January is usually very quiet so we like to keep things ticking over with some offers every night.
“We don’t go stupid with drinks promotions because that doesn’t really help if everything is so cheap but we do try to do some sensible offers, especially on a Wednesday to get the students re-engaged after Christmas.
“It is all about striking a balance really.”
Jason Robinson, centre manager at The Eastgate shopping centre, admitted that January is a difficult time for shops too.
He said: “The start of the year is always difficult for retailers, so it is always tricky to predict how individual stores will be affected.”
Sales are continuing across the city – but Debenhams are expected to slash their prices by up to 70 per cent with a sale running through to February after the department store recorded disappointing sales over the Christmas period compared to rivals such as John Lewis and House of Fraser.
A sales increase at Debenhams of just 0.1 per cent in the 17 weeks leading up to December 28 was wiped out by the impact of their discounts.
The store put up ‘Blue Cross Sale’ posters at the weekend in a bid to get people who had previously looked at the sales there to come back.
River Island also made further reductions this weekend on top of its existing sale, with t-shirts starting from £5 and shirts for just £10.
Shopper Lucy Curtis, 17, from Abbeydale, said: “I picked up a new top from River Island for £6 so I am really happy with that.
“The sale at Topshop has also been pretty good too.”
A new 50 per cent off sale started at Edinburgh Woollen Mill too.
One of the city’s pop up Christmas shops decided that it could not survive January and has closed its doors.
The Ultimate Party Shop, in King’s Walk shopping centre, had its shutters down yesterday with a sign saying: “Thank you for supporting our pop up shop”. It advised customers to head to their other shop in Cheltenham instead.