Brighton Lite Investigates whether the Recession is still Affecting Kemptown Traders

By Julia Thompson, Hannah Booth, Rebecca Hale and Abby Rugg

As the shops gear up for Christmas many of Brighton’s traders seem to be shaking off the last remnants of the recession.
The Brighton Wheel Seen From Kemptown.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons by Jim Linwood

However, a visit to some of Kemptown’s most established shops reveals a different story.

The recession has left winners and plenty of losers in Kemptown. It is easy to identify traders who are suffering in the difficult economic downturn, yet scratching beneath the surface reveals those who are thriving and still making money annually.

Brighton Lite investigates:

Jolly Gorgeous owner, James Gordon, 45 said: “The problem is a lack of confidence because they [the customers] are scared that they won’t have a job at the end of the month.”

When asked what measures he takes to promote business, he said: “I have begun to rely on word-of- mouth as it is equally powerful.”

The economy on a national level has only increased by 0.1% – three times less than was expected.

Ross Robertson, 22, a shop assistant of independent store, Magic, St James’s Street said: “The recession is not really affecting us.

“It is only a little shop, a specialist shop, so people in the business make money all year round. Even when the recession kicked in, we were doing really well.”

St James Laundry Centre has also managed to survive the recession, owner Renee Wells, 48, claimed. “It is not affecting us at all. People need and want their washing done.”

Results show that specialist stores tend to push through the recession unharmed.
Elsewhere, however, the recession has clearly affected other independent businesses by creating economic downturns.

Paul Brown, 62, owner of Studio Bookshop, St James’s Street, said: “Normally, second hand book stores are affected two to four years after the recession.

“We are currently suffering from the 2008 recession and we’re 25% down year on year.”

Brighton is one of the UK’s more wealthy cities and has added 23,600 jobs between 1996 and 2006. The recession has affected this though.

Giha Elz, 43, a shop assistant of St Mary Convenience Store, St James’s Street said: “When you see the street, there are not many people walking [around].

“The business is not going as well as the first time we opened. Not as many people come in now.”

However, The Boozy Cow’s owner Çağlar Eryar felt that business was as busy as last year but people are spending less.

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