Small Businesses Show Resilience In Tough Times

Smart strategies and planning, with a focus on budgeting and innovations, help businesses in Cardiff flourish and sustain amid the economic crisis.

As the cost-of-living crisis continues to strike people across the country, Cardiff has seen various businesses shutting down or moving to different locations. 

In February, a British fast-fashion clothing brand, New Look, closed one of its branches in Queen’s Arcade. The store has been in Queens Arcade since 2007 and stopped functioning on Saturday, February 25.

But, the New Look St David’s centre location remains open. Similarly, several other stores, including House of Fraser, TK Max, and Argos, have announced their closure in Cardiff and other places in Wales.

Wales Online also reported analysis from professional advisory firm PwC and The Local Data Company (LDC) suggesting that Wales’s net shop closure rate reached a six-year high in 2021, with 384 openings and 786 closures in 2021 – a net loss of 402.

Amidst these challenging times, some small businesses in Cardiff are trying to work against the odds. While some have adopted online techniques and absorbed social media into the business idea, others are constantly evolving to stay relevant and sustain their business idea. 

Kelly’s Records has been in Cardiff Market for 53 years. Manager Russell Milton told Cardiff News Plus ”Keeping the idea of a record shop alive” has helped them. He said ”We try keeping on top of what we do; selling vintage stuff and artists who don’t go out of fashion and also influx of releases.”

Russell Milton, Manager, Kelly’s Records

Cardiff Market is also known for food, and a place doing reasonably well is Tuka Tuk. Started in 2022, the owners have been experimenting with changing their menu and used more social media. Rupali Wagh, Owner of Tuka Tuk, says ”We changed strategy quite a few times, we started as a dosa place with live cooking and steel plates and now have a different model.”

Rupali Wagh, Owner, Tuka Tuk

While some businesses are weathering the storm, others are closing, like Jon Ian. The designer boutique has been at Morgan’s Arcade for more than a decade. Things changed for them after Covid created a shift in customer choice with more reliance on online shopping.

Esther Hitchcock, Owner of Jon Ian says “As a fashion business we have tried to diversify with online shopping introduction but staff crunch and lack of demand have forced us to close.”

Esther Hitchcock, Owner,Jon Ian

With more stores closing, businesses actively work on their online space.