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Up To 60% Fall in York City Centre Shop Takings During Tour de France

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6:04am 11th July 2014

Shop owners in York city centre have told Minster FM their takings fell by between 10%-60% when the Tour de France came to the city last Sunday. However, the retailers who spoke to us have said they are hopeful of a longer-term benefit from the event.

Chair of the York Retail Forum, Frank Wood, said traders he had spoken to saw a fall of between 10-40% in takings last Sunday but he stressed he is hopeful there will be a benefit for the city from hosting the Tour de France. Frank Wood told Minster FM:

"Most retailers were down but this was expected. It's something that retailers prepared for and are prepared to accept in view of the huge potential PR for York and Yorkshire in the future. It's been a huge event for Yorkshire and I think the feedback from the Tour de France officials has been brilliant and the support Yorkshire gave the event absolutely fantastic."

"Huge numbers of people came to the city but they were there to watch the race. Normal residents stayed away from York city centre because of the estimated large numbers of people and the effect it would have on accessibility to the city centre."

"The cyclists didn't set off until 11 o'clock, clearly it went very quickly after then. The whole idea was to retain people in the city centre after the race had finished and the plans were to have large TV screens which I believe were there on the Saturday but something happened to them on the Sunday and they weren't there when they should have been there. Many of the people watched the race and went home, they didn't stay to shop."

"But it was very high profile for York, clearly York was an ideal venue to have the Grand Depart on the second day. It will definitely lead to more events being held in the city centre which can only be good for the centre of York."

York Council did order big screens for Parliament Street and Rowntree Park, however the council tweeted on Sunday to say they had broken down, which was outside of it's control.

Hanus Wolf, who owns Burgin's Perfumery on Coney Street, told Minster FM his takings were down by 60% during the Tour de France on Sunday compared to the same period last year. Hanus Wolf told Minster FM:

"The anticipated number of people who were going to be in Coney Street didn't materialise at all. The people that turned up from early, until the cyclists went, didn't come to shop. They came to see a cycle event, watched it and then disappeared. My colleagues in St Helen's Square suffered the same fate which was that people didn't shop. They didn't come to York to shop, they simply came to see the Grand Depart."

"My regular customers who would come out on a Sunday didn't venture into the city. The restrictions on the roads were such that they couldn't get in, all the major roads into York were closed and they had been warned about the restrictions. People who would normally shop in York on a Sunday probably went to the Vangarde or Monks Cross but they didn't come into the city centre."

Despite the apparent gloom in the city centre, traders on Bishopthorpe Road said their street party had led to a big boost in trade. Andy Shrimpton, who runs Cycle Heaven on Bishopthorpe Road told Minster FM:

"I've had really positive feedback from everyone along the street, it's been fantastic. Most of the traders did something special and a lot of them were well up. Anyone who put on food for the day did fantastically, pubs sold out of beer, the local supermarket sold out of alcohol. The takeaways did fantastically, the restaurants did fantastically as well."

"We took advantage of the road closures to have a street party that went on all afternoon after the Tour went through. All the residents loved it and we had the time of our lives."


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