A few too many browsers, but the kids are alright - Kevin Buckle

So shops did get to find out what would happen if they were open after Christmas and for Avalanche, closed like many for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, the answer was mostly kids spending cash.

Saturday, 1st January 2022, 7:00 am
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While not being overly great with the social distancing the kids were generally well behaved, all wearing masks and no more excitable than was reasonable given they had come in to spend the hard cash they had acquired.

Vinyl was top of their list as many had already given their parents a long list of T-shirts they required for Christmas but seemed to prefer to choose the records themselves. Given the top choices were the ubiquitous Fleetwood Mac Rumours and Oasis Definitely Maybe I’m sure their parents could have been trusted with the task but buying vinyl in front of your friends is now clearly the cool thing to do.

On the other hand T-shirt buying is not as simple as it might seem. The fashion for wearing t-shirts “baggy” is not an exact science and one distraught dad brought back an XL shirt asking if he could swap it for a medium. “She said big and baggy,” he said. I sympathised, explaining that I had learned that baggy could mean anything from not tight to being three sizes too big.

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On the second day of being open it was a mixture of tourists and more kids. If I had any complaint it would be about the visiting families with younger children clearly just in for a wander which under normal circumstances would be fine but given the current restrictions was not ideal.

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The weather was of course driving people indoors early on but while some families would designate a parent to wait outside or take the kids elsewhere so the other could have a serious look around others who were clearly just sheltering from the rain would stand around blocking the aisles and maybe occasionaly shouting “they have a Pink Floyd T-shirt” without actually ever buying one.

Overall even though we were constantly busy people were very sensible and while on one hand we were busier than expected I have seen very few of my regular older customers who always avoid these times but will I’m sure reappear at the start of the year.

We get our change from the post office next door but of course they were closed on the 27th and 28th. Towards the end I was worried I might run out of pound coins as so many £20 notes were being handed over for £16 T-shirts.

Eventually towards the end of the day I started asking if customers had a pound coin so I could give them a fiver in change. Without fail every young customer looked at me as if to say this spending cash thing is harder than I was expecting. I would explain again and to be fair either they or a friend would normally produce a coin to help out.

Who knows what the New Year will bring but so far business has been less stressful than I was expecting for which I have to thank our customers and of course the kids who I’m sure never read this newspaper column.

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