Small shops in Leeds hoping for Christmas sales bonus

By Lina Arshad

Many small businesses in Leeds are banking on receiving an early Christmas present this year – from their customers.

One third of small UK businesses will experience a growth in sales throughout the Christmas period. This is set to make up more than 20 per cent of their annual income, according to figures collated by Accenture.

Phil Caplan, owner of small family-run business Philip Howard Books Ltd, claims relying on a bumper festive period has always been the case for his bookshop.

He said: “We used to estimate that a third of the turnover that we made was in that period of October, November and December, so the last quarter of the year is by far the most important for retail.”

Despite making a large chunk of their sales during this period, Mr Caplan stated his bookshop has always avoided cut price promotional offers in a bid to drive sales figures.

He added: “I have never done them as a small business, as I believe that you should never enter a war if you can’t win the battle.

“We have always tried to prioritise range and diversity rather than to try and compete on price.”

For other small businesses, such as Armadillo Toys, the reliance on seasonal income was even higher.

Lisa Clay, owner of Armadillo Toys, said: “We’re a toy shop so we definitely benefit from this period. We usually double the average sales around Christmas time.”

There has been an increasing focus on public support to small businesses over past years, with a major contributor being the Small Business Saturday campaign.

The campaign originated in America as a bid to combat the disadvantages small businesses face on Black Friday, however it now focuses on providing long lasting support.

Mr Caplan shared his views about the campaign and promotion of small businesses generally.

To find, support or register as a small business click here.

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