We’re expecting a lean February in the business

editorial image

There seems to be no let up from the weather and the long-term forecast is that the rain is not going to cease.

As I’ve said many, many times – being an indoor attraction, we are always busy when it rains, so I used to pray for rainy weather to help my business.

Allan Blackburn, Owner of GB Antiques Centre and Lancaster Leisure Park

Allan Blackburn, Owner of GB Antiques Centre and Lancaster Leisure Park

However, I wouldn’t have wished the Christmas storms, flooding and all the problems associated with it, on anyone.

It was absolutely dreadful for so many people, both professionally and personally.

The scenes in Lancaster city centre were literally unbelievable to see.

We count ourselves as very lucky, as we only had to deal with the power cut and it was absolutely nothing to what some of my friends and colleagues had to deal with.

My heart still goes out to them. It’s been good to see that another month on some of the businesses have reopened (some in a new temporary location) but for others it has been devastating.

The weather is still so mild. We’ve had the odd cold day but it’s certainly not January weather. The snow was a surprise recently and to get a sunny, cold, crisp day was a treat but it just is not that cold. I don’t know if anyone noticed, but the vegetables at Christmas just weren’t as sweet.

Things like carrots and parsnips need good spells of cold weather to really be tasty and, of course, with it being wet and warm the harvest has not been as good.

We did well between Christmas and new year. As usual we were busy at the beginning of January with the sales and visitors treating themselves with their Christmas money.

However, I am suspecting a fall in spending as we move into February.

Most retailers are expecting a drop, but I’m not surprised as I believe a lot of credit cards were used in December (rather than debit cards) so it would make sense that February would be lean.

It’s been a busy month for us. Our American friends have been to see us recently, which we always enjoy, and then we went to the Cotswolds for four days last week.

My wife and I go there every year at this time to look for antiques for the centre. I was hoping the weather would stay mild for our little busman’s holiday, which I will tell you all about soon.