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Busy summer for Maidenhead's independent businesses

Grace Witherden and Will Taylor

Busy summer for Maidenhead's independent businesses

Independent businesses are celebrating a successful summer season of trading after two million visits were recorded in Maidenhead town centre.

Footfall figures reveal that 2,299,430 visits were recorded from May to August, with almost 700,000 visitors counted in the month of August alone.

The busiest day in the summer was the weekend of the Maidenhead Festival - Saturday, July 23 - with 33,238 visitors recorded.

Footfall for the year to date is up 18 per cent on the previous year.

Independent retailers were pleased with how the summer unfolded, with the co-director of Craft Coop reporting higher profits, and the director of the Green Parrot pleased with how summer shoppers continued spending after the EU referendum vote.

Deborah Jones, co-director of Craft Coop in the Nicholson Centre, said she was happy with the last few months.

She said: “We did have a good summer.

“I think that all the events happening in town really did contribute to that.

“There is a feeling of happiness in the town.

“It just feels much more optimistic in the town centre.”

New shops in the town centre included retail giant H&M, stationery shop Smiggle and Grape Tree foods.

The summer season saw new cafes and restaurants open in the town centre including Kokoro, The Bistro Story and Coffee Republic.

Events have been praised for bringing in people to the High Street including Eat on the Street, Shabbytique and the night market.

“There is something on in the High Street almost every weekend,” Deborah said.

“It’s great shops like H&M and Smiggle coming to the Nicholson Centre and things like that always bring people in.”

“I think overall, our profits have been up.”

Geoffrey Salinas, director of the Green Parrot Casual Dining, in Queen Street, said the summer started slowly, which he blamed on Brexit, but his earnings rallied by the start of September.

He said: “May through June was particularly poor.

“Once the referendum was over things started to pick up.

“I do feel like there were more people in the town.

“I think things are on the up.

“There seems to be a mix of people working in new offices and one-off customers.

“There is support from the town, with things like Enjoy Maidenhead.

“I am feeling more confident coming up to Christmas.”


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