LYRIC Square market stallholders say the continuing cold weather has cut their profits by a third for the time of year.
Traders at the normally popular markets, held on a Thursday and Friday, say they are losing at least one third of normal takings as the unseasonably harsh wind and cold continue to stop people venturing outside for lunch.
Alberto Ambler, 40, who commutes from Brighton to run his stall Moorish, said last Friday: “Trade is terrible, the food is cold and I want to go home. Everyone knows it’s not good trade for anyone.”
Mr Ambler said he spends £3,500 a year in rail fares to run his stall and rents a van and storage space in London throughout the year.
He added: “Summer is very good for me. This winter has been extremely bad. We need some warmth and some sun.”
Apostolos Bambos, 35, who runs Apostolos souvlaki bar, said: “People won’t come out because it’s too cold. I have another stall in Fulham and its pretty tough there as well. Many businesses, not only us, are down and making a loss of 30 per cent since last year. We can’t do anything about it unfortunately.”
Talita Melo, 42, who runs Flavours of Portugal, said: “I’ve probably lost more than 30 per cent. We usually have our regulars but when it snows and it’s cold, they are not happy to come outside.”
Chris Elder, who runs the Thursday market, said: “We are a very busy market but fewer people are coming out and the cold weather has affected trade by 10-20 per cent.”
Dan Williams, of the Met Office said temperatures had been well down on normal throughout March and warned that the weather would continue to be ‘unsettled’.
He said: “We have seen the coldest daytime maximum temperatures in April in some places in the south-east since 1966. We’ve had a pretty cold March and a lot of easterly winds bringing cold air from the eastern parts of Europe.”