It’s going to be jingle tills all the way as stores get ready for a bumper Christmas shopping bonanza in Calderdale.
Many businesses are braced for a last minute rush as customers flock to the town centre in search of presents and bargains before the big day.
While many shops nationally have reported low sales, with some starting traditional post-Christmas discounts early, store bosses in Halifax were predicting to buck the trend with a very busy weekend.
Tony Murray, general manager at Harvey’s department store in Rawson Street, expected big crowds.
“Sales-wise it’s been very positive but while numbers are down in terms of footfall. we are still expecting the mad Christmas weekend rush,” he said.
“I honestly believe this weekend will go through the roof.
“I think with the current economic climate Christmas has become more organised - people are planning to buy certain presents with certain pay packets,” he added.
“Shopping used to be a proper leisure activity but people are a lot more focused in what they want. People have a purpose and don’t want to be tempted.”
Jewellery store Eyre, at Russell Street, Halifax, has exceeded its expectations in the run-up to Christmas.
Manager Deb Mackin said: “We are really pleased - it’s been a lot busier than we expected. We’ve seen people coming in from Huddersfield and Bradford.”
Mrs Mackin said that much of the businesses success has been thanks to being a smaller retailer.
“We spend a lot of time listening to what people say they want during the year and then we can tailor our stock when it gets to December. Some of the bigger stores have long lead times and will have decided what they were stocking 18 months ago.”
Despite the economic pressures people are clearly still splashing out on classic jewellery with established Halifax company Lister Horsfall saying things have been going well for them too as they celebrate 110 years at their Southgate store.
Nicholas Horsfall, director, said: “We’ve seen a lot of regular customers coming back so it’s a nice time of year for us.
The way Christmas has fallen it’s going to be nice that people have all weekend for shopping.”
But Mick Byram, owner of MB Butchers and Concorde Cafe, in the Borough Market, said trade was down and if free parking was offered in Halifax it would make all the difference.
“I think a lot of people are going to out of town shopping centres because they’re offering free parking and it’s so much more convenient.
And Stephen Auckland, owner of Mister Dee’s cafe in the market, said: “It’s certainly been quieter than I thought it would be. The main reason for that is out of town shopping centres because they have plenty of parking spaces that are free of charge.”