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Tills were ringing with last-minute shoppers

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Tills were ringing with last-minute shoppers

CHRISTMAS shoppers across the region have delivered a seasonal boost to retailers.

And one retail centre which saw a real benefit was Gretna Gateway Outlet Village — recording a growth of four per cent from last year in the week leading up to Christmas.
General manager Peter Gardner said: “Despite the best efforts of Storm Barbara to disrupt trade, we had a very good year.”
Looking at the run-up to Christmas, Mr Gardner added: “The weather got worse, but this was no impact as we still showed growth in that week.
“We are an outdoor centre, so weather is probably going to affect us more
“We are on track to have a good December.”
Meanwhile, a late rush by shoppers in the final week before Christmas helped retailers in Dumfries.
And a resulting ‘average’ festive period for shops has been welcomed, as it came after fears this year might see a shopping slump.
Dumfries Retailers Association chairman Rab Smith said: “I think it was just average.
“It came quite late — everybody was busy in the last week.”
He added: “The people I’ve talked to didn’t do as well as the last few years, but they didn’t do as badly as they thought they would do.”
Mr Smith describes the ‘Black Friday’ sales as busy for larger retailers and harmful to  the smaller shops.
And a decision was made not to hold a special late night opening this year, after having run annually for well over a decade.
Mr Smith said: “We just can’t seem to get a late night shopping thing going on in Dumfries, because Carlisle’s much bigger than us.
“If people want to go late night shopping they go Carlisle, Newcastle, Edinburgh or Glasgow, and we just can’t compete with that.”

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