The Wonderful Town of Whitby and the Selection of Whitby Shops
After the tills have been jingling in the shops of Whitby Town over the Christmas period, its time to think about the New Year. After the jingling in the tills at Christmas time, the shops in Whitby are thinking about what the New Year will bring. What will it bring by way of tourism, will the economic situation in this country and the rest of Europe make a difference to the spending power of the local population and the expectant tourist sector? Will the economic situation in this country and the rest of Europe impact on the spending power of the local population and the expected influx of tourists.
A question on the mind of most owners of Whitby Shops in this historic town. As the seasons pass by year on year, there does, in fact, seem to be an increase in the variety of shops opening their doors for business. As Whitby is considered by many as a seaside holiday resort, there are a number of tourist shops as would normally be expected when the town heavily relies on tourism for its economic survival. Many of the ‘touristy’ shops are concentrated around the harbour area on both sides of the River. The River Esk divides the town into the West Side and the East Side with the main route linking the two being the Old Whitby Swing Bridge. In the years gone by, the harbour was instrumental in the economy of the town by way of fishing, whaling and boatbuilding. Over the last century or so this has been gradually eroded away. There is still boatbuilding at the shipyard upriver but it is only one company and they are commissioned for new fishing vessels from Scotland and other parts of the United Kingdom as the fishing industry from Whitby UK is almost finished.The whaling industry has long since been finished.!!
The tourist shops fill a vital role in both the sale of souvenirs, the sweets and the ice-cream department. Many visitors love to browse these shops in search of a memento of their stay or perhaps to pick up a ‘bargain’ to take home or even to purchase something connected with the town, for instance, Whitby Jet. The jet mined from the local seams along the North East Coast, was made famous by Queen Victoria whilst in mourning for her beloved Prince Albert. Fashioned in both gold and silver, Whitby Jet Jewellery is renowned for its quality throughout this country.
The rest of the retailers situated around the town, are, to a large extent, dependent on the local population to sustain their businesses. Many of the older generation of Whitby folk have shopped for years in their hometown and rarely venture further afield. The younger generation, however, think nothing of travelling for twenty or thirty miles to do their weekly shopping or to buy other commodities i.e clothing and furniture. Visitors throughout the year are helpful in supplementing the turnover of the local shops be it by newspapers and magazines or for those staying in unserviced accommodation, then by the purchasing of food from either the local supermarkets or the many independent retailers, for instance, fruiterers and bakers.