By Humphrey Carter

THE cold weather was expected to have a positive influence on the first day of the sales yesterday with the retail sector looking forward to getting rid of its winter clothes but last night, the Association of Small and Medium retailers were complaining that the rain and freezing temperatures had stopped people heading for the high streets.

With the weather forecast to improve on Friday, small retailers are now hoping for a delayed burst of activity.
Those who did, however, brave the cold picked up some major bargains with prices being slashed by as much as 70 percent as some stores while others, victims of the recession, launched “everything must go” closing down sales.

On average, savings of 40 to 50 percent were common, compared to 25 to 40 percent during the first week of the sales last year but, if consumers continue to trickle to the sales, as reported by small retailers, prices could be slashed by as mush as 90 percent as desperate traders fight to stimulate some business after a “poor” Christmas sales period.


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