This summer’s heatwave has salvaged a difficult year for Worthing businesses hit by the wet winter, according to town centre manager Sharon Clarke.
June has seen a consistent run of sunshine which has reversed the fortunes of traders who had seen footfall decrease during rainy January and February.
“In the winter a lot of businesses worried they might not make it,” said Mrs Clarke.
“This heat has transformed many businesses’ fortunes and many can be a lot more positive about the year going forward.”
This weekend saw the highest temperature of the year as the mercury crept up to 31 degrees Celsius, which Mrs Clarke says can have a negative impact on trade.
“Once things get over 27 degrees, people tend to just want to lie on the beach,” she said.
“So while Saturday was extremely busy in the town centre, it was a bit quieter on the Sunday as people were on the beach.
“It’s expected to get cooler as the week goes on so people will come back to the shops, which is what we want – we want people to experience all of Worthing.”
Worthing Beach Office experienced a busy weekend as visitors flocked to the seaside but foreshore inspector Rob Dove said people were mostly well behaved.
“We had a couple of incidents of people swimming or jet skiing out too far who had to be rescued but otherwise people were well behaved,” he said.
“We did have a few people fainting from heat exhaustion, as people will often not recognise the symptoms.
“We’d like to remind everyone to prepare for the hot weather by dressing appropriately, using sun cream and drinking plenty of water.”
The French market also came to the town this weekend, where French traders sell their authentic continental wares, which Mrs Clarke said was a great success.