High street washout

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BUSINESSES across the southside have admitted to struggling against the onslaught of wild weather this summer.

Yesterday (Wednesday) saw further weather warnings from the Met Office, including the risk of localised flooding in the Strathclyde area.

Last week The Extra reported Met Office forecasts for the rain to continue until at least August after the country’s wettest June on record.

As retail analysts predict a hit on sales of summer goods — and news Scotland has entered a double-dip recesssion — we asked southside businesses what impact the weather has had on trade.

Elaine Osborn, of Bellini footwear in Netherlee, told The Extra: “We reopened in June, and have noticed the weather significantly affecting sales, especially our summer sandals.

“We know that it’s the same across the UK — a lot of suppliers have been saying that it’s the worst on record for them.

“Saturday should be our busiest day, but since we reopened we’ve only had two dry weekends. You see a massive difference in takings on the days with torrential rain — people just don’t venture out”.

Figures from the Scottish Retail Consortium reveal no growth on last year’s like-for-like sales — and last year’s figures were a 1.8 per cent fall from the year before – while Scottish sales are lagging behind the rest of the UK, which saw a small growth of 1.4 per cent in June.

Retail isn’t the only business to be affected, as personal trainer Alicia Donaldson has relied more on the mobile aspect of her work after the rain led to her cancelling multiple classes in Rouken Glen and Queen’s parks.

She commented: “I run a mums and babies fitness class — the weather means that I have had to cancel a lot of classes, because there’s a danger of slipping in the mud”.

However, Alicia added that despite the setbacks, “we have held classes in the rain — the monsoons aren’t stopping southsiders too much”.

Despite flatlining figures, Glasgow’s chamber of commerce remains optimistic, and points out a rise in footfall for the city’s bars during summer sporting events.

Deputy chief executive Richard Muir commented this week: “Despite the wet conditions, what’s still clear is that Glasgow is open for business.

“When we look at the southside, there is a vibrant cultural community with galleries and museums open to the public, and these attractions draw in visitors — and of course, money — all year round”.

And while the rain can chase away shoppers, debt advice business Plan B Partnership remains unaffected by weather. Commenting on our Facebook page, Lucy Woodhouse Haughey said: “The bad weather reminds people to do their paperwork — and the sun doesn’t take debt away”.

After an estimated three inches of rain in the west of Scotland yesterday, the coming weeks promise little relief.

According to the Met Office, clear spells are predicted for today until Saturday, with overnight rain causing a windy day on Sunday, followed by more showers and “changeable weather”.