Cold climate for business as city shivers at -14
by JULIE-ANN SPENCE
WHEN Arctic weather hit Lisburn this week the city struggled to cope with the snow and plummeting temperatures.
In what should have been the busiest shopping weekend of the year, shoppers avoided going out and shops suffered a cold commercial climate being remarkably quiet just a few days before Christmas.
However, city centre traders were hoping that trade would pickup with a
late surge in the final days before Christmas. And Lisburn City Council said
it was doing its best to keep Lisburn's main shopping streets clear of ice,
sending out the message that 'Lisburn is open for business'.
Karen Marshall, the manager of the Bow Street Mall said business was down compared to the same period last year but that things were starting to improve.
The return of the snow and freezing temperatures has certainly put the chill factor into trade in what should have been the busiest weekend of the year," she said. "The early part of last week was good, however Friday was particularly badly hit due to the weather.
"Trade did pick up slightly on Saturday and Sunday with lots of visitors coming to the centre on foot, though the figures for the week were still down on last year.
"With so many people out on foot, we would urge the relevant authorities to do what they can to keep the footpaths clear for the benefit of customers and businesses at this time," she continued.
"Thanks to the team here at the Centre, the Mall and car park has been open every day for business, including the additional hours that we open during the Christmas period. Thankfully Lisburn has many a hardy customer who is willing to brave the conditions to continue with their Christmas shopping and pick up bargains in the sales that some retailers have already started.
"Trade on Monday was good and we hope that will continue right up until Christmas.
" The Chairman of Lisburn's City Centre Management, Councillor Allan Ewart commented: Most retailers believed that after the first snowfall at the end of November cleared, business would pick up to make up for any lost trade. However the most recent and heavier snowfall has just come at the wrong time as far as the traders are concerned and dented these hopes.
"Despite this I would like to look at some positives to come out of the situation, many local people, who may have previously done their Christmas shopping outside Lisburn, have given the City their business this year. I am sure that the atmosphere and the offering within the City will be enough to encourage these people back more regularly in future," he added.
Lisburn City Council, in conjunction with Roads Service have been
main shopping streets and the Mayor, Alderman Paul Porter, "We want to send a message that Lisburn is very much open for business. Where possible, the Council will assist the Roads Service in trying to keep city centre footways and pedestrian areas clear and look at extending this temporary service to other areas of the City centre."
The Chairman of the Council's Environmental Services Committee added: "The Council has volunteered, where it can, to help those responsible for gritting and clearing roads and I would like to thank all our staff for their hard work in this regard," he said. "We will continue to help out where we can during these freezing and snowy conditions."