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Snow hits bottom line of businesses across Swansea

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 19, 2013

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HEAVY snow impacted businesses across Swansea, from restaurants and supermarkets to outdoor clothing stores throughout the city.

Swansea market was deserted by lunchtime yesterday with most stalls closed or packing up early for the day.

Supermarket giant Asda was open for business at Morriston but some staff at the chain struggled to make it in to work.

Duty manager Neil Hinkley said weather reports of incoming snow on Thursday night had sparked panic buying with potatoes and bread being the most popular items.

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He said: "There has been panic buying but we didn't run out of milk.

"We are back up to normal today."

Mr Hinkley said it was quiet in the store, which is open 24 hours a day.

Staff at Sainsbury's in Quay Parade and Morrisons at Morfa Retail Park refused to comment on the issue of panic buying, although one customer at Sainsbury's posted a picture of empty shelves on a vegetable aisle of the city centre store on social network Twitter on Thursday night.

A member of staff at the Grape and Olive venue at the top of Swansea's 350ft Meridian Tower said diners had cancelled lunch and dinner bookings after hearing reports of travel disruption.

He said: "We have had quite a few cancelled bookings."

The snow did however prove profitable for one outdoor clothing specialist in Swansea's Quadrant Shopping Centre.

Trespass opened in the Quadrant nine weeks ago in the unit formerly run by Clinton Cards before its parent company went into administration.

Store supervisor Judith Rees said: "Over the past three days we have hit targets and gone beyond them.

"This is our forte.

"We have been selling a lot of grips you put on shoes."

Robert Lloyd Griffiths, director of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Wales, said: "While it's good to see the children enjoying themselves in the snow, the disruption is another blow that business can do without.

"In a tough month that's already seen notable retail casualties, the high street is made to suffer further.

"Shoppers stay at home, workers must take a day off to look after children and all manner of services are disrupted.

"The key concern, of course, is safety and I'm glad to say that I've witnessed much patience and common sense today."

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