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Online sales up, plans for outdoor seating areas, thanks for lifeline of grants and optimism for future of business is response of Carmarthen Teatraders

PAUL Raven who owns Teatraders on Guildhall Square Carmarthen is just one of many businesses in the town feeling the impact of restrictions.

Speaking to Wales News Online on Monday (Nov 2) Mr Raven said: “The impact has been huge. We operate a teashop and café and the food and drinks side of things has been affected. We have reduced our seating capacity and tried to keep people safe. We have increased outdoor seating capacity when the weather permits. It has had an impact on the turnover. What we have noticed is that our online sales have been boosted. People still want to support local businesses. I am here today packing tea and ready to put the Christmas window together.

Speaking about the onset of Christmas and what that meant to his business Mr Raven said: “I think customers have already started shopping ahead. Even before this two-week lockdown, we have seen people buying ahead of Christmas. Small businesses like us who sell online www.teatraders.co.uk have the opportunity to support local people who are hesitant about coming into town. They can still support small businesses like us from the comfort of their own home.“

Asked how the future looked for his business the optimistic retailer said: “There is a need to adapt, modify, and pivot your business and to keep your premises safe in order to survive. We are looking at how we can refocus by selling our own brand of teabags online. We are trying to access additional streams of income.

Speaking about the Welsh Government’s approach to the pandemic, particularly in relation to the elderly community Mr Raven said: “It is such a complex situation. A lot of the spread is also coming from young people. As we get to Christmas, it is going to impact on elderly people. I do not think we can say that the elderly should stay at home, it is not as cut and dried as that. We have many elderly customers coming out to the shop and that is good for their well-being. I am an optimistic person. We are still here and still open because of the grants that we have had for business. They are keeping us alive quite honestly. Without those, the business would not be able to survive.”


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