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... but indies report mixed Easter

It was mixed fortunes for independent retailers over Easter, as good weather and half term slowed sales for some, while those in large towns profited from footfall driven by Sales at neighbouring multiples.

Martin Jones, managing director of menswear retailer Vaughan Davies in Mold, north Wales, believed that shoppers stuck to the multiples. "We closed on Good Friday, but I regret it now. We opened on Saturday, but were down 25% on last year," he said. "There were plenty of people in town but high street Sales were probably taking money away."

In Scunthorpe, north Lincolnshire, the sunshine kept people away from the shops. Sandra Longley, owner of womenswear store Fashion House, said: "Good Friday was very quiet, but the town was quiet overall."

Dublin's Arnotts department store enjoyed a 10% boost in clothing sales. Chief executive David Riddiford said: "Contemporary womenswear and young fashion were strong. There was a lot of promotional activity in Dublin, but we didn't do any."

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