‘Wild Wednesday’ falls flat in Hull as downtown struggles to survive

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Shoppers who took to the streets of downtown Hull on “Wild Wednesday” revealed their concerns about the longevity of the city’s department stores after a day of reopening stores.

Non-essential stores reopened on December 2 with the end of the nationwide lockdown, even though Hull was subject to the most stringent Level 3 restrictions.

Authorities praised the people of Hull for reducing what was, at one point in recent weeks, the worst weekly infection rate in the country by complying with the lockdown instruction to stay at home whenever possible.

But some have expressed concern for the future of some of the large businesses that rely on downtown footfall on a day that would normally have been one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Christmas.

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Baker Mark Gleed said he struggled more mentally with the second lockdown and saw the impact of Hull’s disastrous second wave on his own workplace.

He said he did some shopping for some “Christmas bits” in the downtown area on Wednesday.

“It was pretty quiet, I arrived last week and it was busy and now everything is open, it’s dead,” he said.

“I still did a fair bit of online shopping, but came for a few Christmas moments today. ”

Buyers Mark Gleed and Janet Tate and Heather Adjei
(Image: Kirstin Tait)

Buyers Janet Tate and Heather Adjei said it was their first visit to town since the start of March.

“It’s calm,” Heather said.

“We expected it to be a lot busier. In every store we went to, there was hardly anyone.

“I think it was just that they did the second lockdown, I think the first was worse – it looks like more stores that shouldn’t have been open were open. ”

Beth and Ken Gray said they were in town to return items ordered online to Debenhams and said they saw a few other shoppers on the go.

“I’m so sad this is over,” Beth said.

Beth and Ken Gray were returning items ordered online to Debenhams
(Image: Kirstin Tait)

“It’s the only department store we can go to. There won’t be anything in town now.

“The city has been very busy today, we had successful Christmas shopping and I also have new Christmas decorations.”

Shoppers Jean Madley and Jackie Tarbottom said they were annoyed that the mall’s seats had been removed.

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Jean said she had lived through a particularly difficult few months after the pandemic began in March.

“I just took the second lockdown, I got cancer the first, I got by with this and my friend lost her husband,” she said.

“But we got over it. It was a difficult time. My life is just pear shaped.

Buyers Jean Madley and Jackie Tarbottom and Dawn Sumpton were in town Wednesday
(Image: Kirstin Tait)

Dawn Sumpton said, “The second lockdown was a bit better.

“I come to Tesco every day and it’s usually very quiet, usually around 12 people in St Stephen.

“I think the stores are open again.”

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