‘Real boost’ as Nottingham reports one of the biggest increase in shoppers nationally

Shoppers have started returning to the Nottingham in their droves and business owners say it is a ‘real boost for the city’.

New figures found Nottingham was the city with the second largest increase in shoppers in the country during September, with footfall growing by 32 per cent through the month.

Data from the Centre for Cities think tank showed foot fall in the city centre had reached 88 per cent of pre-Covid levels in that month.

Those working in the city centre had noticed a significant rise in customers and thought that shoppers felt safer in the city.

Steven Roberts, 60, who has owned the Steven Roberts Jewellery store on Clinton Street East for 20 years, said: “It’s a real boost for the city out of a hard time.

“We have been really busy – my hands have almost given out from the work. Over Covid a lot of demand for our services had built up and now people are coming back, it’s great.

“I’m having to put off jobs for a couple of days just because there is so much to be doing.

“With my older customers they’ve told me that coming to my shop is one of the first times they’ve been out in about two years, so that confidence is being for people to come out and be in the city centre with others after Covid.

“I get a few students coming in now as well for repairs and stuff like that, so them being back has brought more bustle to the streets, probably more for other people than for me though.

“We could have been even busier if Goose Fair and the fireworks hadn’t been cancelled, they always gave us a big boost.”

Tarah Dean, 24, who works as a supervisor at the Braderie clothes shop in Hockley, said it was nice to see lots of people in the high street again.

She said: “It has been a positive time and it is good to see people in town, who feel safe about being here.

“We have had some really busy days at times we would not expect, there’s no consistency in how many people you get in now.

“We have a mix of young and old customers and I think that for everyone it’s about feeling comfortable and more confident in being out with other people.

“And I think a lot of people have just accepted Covid and are wanting to live their lives now, which brings them back into town.”

Phil Sanders, 61, who runs the stall for Nottingham Watch Repairs on Clinton Street East, said: “Being based on the street itself we’ve definitely seen that business is picking back up again.

“Our takings are not far off where they were before Covid, so we have recovered nicely up to this point which the footfall helps with obviously.

“For older people now that the vaccine has been around for a while and we’ve gone through what we have, they feel a lot more safe in their own city I think.

Never miss another Nottinghamshire story with our free email updates



A view of Nottingham's Old Market Square.

If you want to make sure you’re in the loop with what’s happening locally, subscribe to our free email updates.

We’ll send you daily Nottinghamshire Live newsletters, plus breaking news as it happens, directly to your inbox.

All you have to do is head to this page and select the newsletters you want to receive – or enter your email into the black box at the top of this story.

“The students returning has probably helped to I would say, we do not get a lot coming to us but around the city they will really be adding something to the city’s shops and bars.”

Councillor Rebecca Langton, Portfolio Holder for Skills, Growth and Economic Development at Nottingham City Council, said: “It’s encouraging to see that people are feeling increasingly inclined and confident to come back to the city as Covid restrictions ease.

“We have worked hard with local businesses to ensure that people can feel safe going into premises, as well as wherever possible allowing businesses space to trade outside.

“This has been particularly successful in areas like Hockley where a combination of bars, restaurants and independent shops are seeing customer levels back to or above pre-pandemic levels and attracting a broad range of age groups – although the return of students will undoubtedly have helped to increase footfall in September.

“Good public transport and ample space for people to walk and cycle, as well as great things to see and do such as visiting Nottingham Castle and going back to live music and theatres, also help to make Nottingham an attractive destination.

“Good occupancy in hotels indicates a strong leisure sector and while some retailers have closed, others have opened and so Nottingham is very much open for business and doing better than people might think. It bodes well for the future as we seek to further boost the city centre’s vitality.”

To read all the biggest and best stories first sign up to read our newsletters here .