Business booms in St Albans on strike day

CHRISTMAS came early for St Albans city centre yesterday, courtesy of nationwide strikes.

With children forced out of their schools for the day as teachers walked out in protest against public sector pension changes, parents hit the shops to get a head start on stocking up on Christmas presents.

Phil Corrigan, centre manager of The Maltings, said that the city had been as busy as a Saturday.

He added: “There are more younger people here, hopefully doing Christmas shopping, and they are bringing their parents with them, which you don’t normally see on a Wednesday.”

Phil said The Maltings car park building was full of vehicles by midday.

At Waterstone’s, St Peter’s Street, assistant manager Brendan Worthington said there were, “loads and loads of kids and parents” purchasing books for Christmas.

He said: “Yay for the strike!”

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Luisa Zissman, owner of Dixie’s Cupcakery, Market Place, echoed Brendan’s comments, joking: “I would love people to strike every day.”

She added: “I walked around town and it was so busy, which is amazing; it’s good for business, but not good for children missing school.”

Luisa said that parents had been treating themselves to a coffee and cupcake while out shopping with children and that Dixie’s had benefited from a 20 per cent increase in business.