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Did the Tills Ring Out for Guildford Independent Traders?

Published on: 1 Jan, 2024
Updated on: 3 Jan, 2024

By Joseph Bickle

It’s said the Christmas period can be make or break for many independent businesses.

Nearly two in five (37 per cent) of the UK’s small retailers have predicted Christmas will account for half of their yearly takings (Iwoca).

Staff at a selection of Guildford independent traders have commented on their trading this Christmas.

Sola Sisters.

Coffee shop Solar Sisters in North Street is a zero-waste establishment. Staff reported that due to the increased footfall in the town during December this was a good chance to get the word around about the shop. They benefitted by selling zero-waste, festive-themed products. 


Stationers and office suppliers Biddles in Ward Street can trace its history back to 1885.

Its managers said the number of customers it received in December was “not significant” compared to other months, adding this was mainly due to its lack of reliance on retail customers, with most of its revenue coming from other businesses’ bulk orders. 

The Gate Boutique.

Managers at The Gate Boutique in North Street reported that while there is a noticeable increase in customers around the Christmas period, it is mainly down to its winter sale.

They also said the shop is very popular during the summer, making that period of the year equally as important.

Simon Pure.

Jewellers Simon Pure has been creating hand-made jewellery since 1986. Staff explained the Christmas period is a crucial time of year for business, and that is when “a good portion of revenue is made”.


The manager at wine bar Corkage in Quarry Street said: “We had our biggest December of the last seven years since opening. December often provides double the revenue of all prior months of the year.”

A general consensus from those interviewed is that Guildford’s independent traders prosper all year round and do not have an over-reliance on the Christmas trading period.

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Responses to Did the Tills Ring Out for Guildford Independent Traders?

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    January 1, 2024 at 9:00 pm

    Local shops get my custom for two basic reasons! They have the product I need and they are welcoming

    Nothing else!

    All the rest is fluff and nonsense

  2. Sheila Atkinson Reply

    January 4, 2024 at 12:36 pm

    It isn’t surprising that the coffee shops, Jewellers and Corkage noticed a rise in sales in December with people out shopping for Christmas presents and having parties. A coffee shop is a natural break for many whilst trailing round the shops.

    Biddles is a wonderful little stationery and office supplies shop, tucked down in Ward Street. I sometimes wonder if people even know they are there which a shame as the staff are very helpful.

    Let us hope that 2024 proves to be a good year for all the shops in Guildford as we don’t want any more to have to shut their doors for the last time.

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