How Penarth businesses are trying to beat the post-Christmas slump

Bosses of shops and restaurants share how they have weathered the January blues

JANUARY is a difficult month for businesses, so The Cardiffian asked businesses in Penarth how they have coped.

Long hours and being open to change were common themes.

“If you can keep the door open physically, financially and mentally then you should,” said Sid Sethi, owner of Sid’s Restaurant and Bar.

When you look at the figures from December to January it’s like you fall off a cliff.

Karen Dunlop, manager at Umpa Lumpa Sweet Shop

“When you look at the figures from December to January, it’s like you fall off a cliff,” said Karen Dunlop, from Umpa Lumpa Sweet Shop.

The Office of National Statistics’ business insights and conditions survey shows that the drop in turnover from December to January in the restaurant trade is usually significant.

Restaurants like Sid’s and The Glendale both operate longer opening times even when there might be fewer customers.

“We try and keep consistency. If the customers know that we’re here and we’re open, then maybe later or maybe the next day they will come in,” said Mr Sethi.

Similarly, Daniel Wall, bar manager at The Glendale said: “We’ve started doing lunches, with the hope of opening ourselves up to a new area of customers.”

The shop owners tended more towards an attitude of adaptability. “Small businesses are nimble on their feet,” said Petra Aydin-Barberini, owner of Rowley’s Jewellers.

“Obviously January is harder, no-one has any money.

Charlotte Holland, Owner of Willmore’s cafe

Rotating stock, reacting to seasonal holidays, and cutting prices in regular sales were all discussed.

“In January people love to try and go on a diet, or go vegan or something, so we sell vegan and sugar-free sweets,” said Ms Dunlop.

Some owners have been able to avoid a slump altogether. Peter Deroches said the Crepe Escape did quite well in January, and credits their regulars.

“It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, if they like us, they’re still going to come in.”

Below is a map showing the eight businesses The Cardiffian spoke to. Click on their pin to see one of their tips for dealing with January.

The main thing most of them agreed on was that, no matter what, January is always going to be tough.

Charlotte Holland, owner of Willmore’s, put it best: “Obviously January is harder, no-one has any money.”