Traders bask in glow of hot, long summer

Hundreds turned out for this year's record-breaking Worthing Birdman
Hundreds turned out for this year's record-breaking Worthing Birdman

A STRONG programme of events and good weather at the right times has led to a successful summer for nearly three quarters of town centre retailers.

An artificial beach, record-breaking Birdman event and sunny periods have seen 70 per cent of Worthing town centre traders post improved results on last summer.

Indications also suggest the tourism industry has experienced similar success.

Town centre manager Sharon Clarke said: “We normally see a 50-50 split between those doing well, and those struggling, so it does show a positive trend.

“Around this time, we usually see a spike in businesses closing down, which so far, we haven’t seen.

Strong sales for many traders were much-needed, with the Town Centre Initiative reporting difficult trading conditions in the first half of the year.

But June, July and August have made-up for a slow start to the year.

Paul O’Brien, owner of Candy Love, in Montague Street, estimates an improvement of around 15 per cent on last year, which he attributes to the ‘professional’ events this summer.

He said: “It has been really good, and obviously Worthing is becoming known as a place where there is a lot going on. Birdman and the Rotary Carnival were very good this year, and these events make a huge difference to attracting people to Worthing.

“Each summer is improving for us, and the we have been blessed with the weather, which always helps.”

For the full story, see the Herald and Gazette, out Thursday, September 26.