The famous Bath Christmas market opens this year from November 22 to December 9. The market, which is known to generate millions of pounds and plays host to sellers from Bath and the South West, is not a favourite of a lot of people.
Many Bath business owners say they do not benefit from the market and face several hardships while it is on. Traffic and shortage of parking space discourage customers from coming into the city. According to Beatrice Pounder, owner of The Duchess Beauty Haven, “Every year our Christmas sales become more and more disappointing, relative to other months……February is our second slowest month after January. But we take in more from two weeks in February than two weeks during the Christmas market.” She believes now that the market has spread to Milsom Street, the problem may be worse this year.
Mike Killpartrick, of Ellis & Killpartrick Opticians in New Bond Street, says: “Some will say cafes and restaurants benefit from the Christmas market but it does deter a lot of patients because they don’t want to come into Bath at that time because it is a nightmare.” He is interested in seeing how the inclusion of Milsom Street will turn out and understands that the market will benefit some people more than others.
Mick Heath, head of events at Visit Bath, stated at the quarterly Independent Bath Organisation meeting at the Hilton Hotel last week that “the Christmas market is so evocative, some love it and some hate it. We are pushing the independent business message. We are here to listen.”