Traders defied power cut by going back to basics
PUBLISHED: 11:58 30 July 2009 | UPDATED: 17:00 25 August 2010
A MANAGER used her savvy to keep trade going during the power cut by going back to her roots as a market stall holder. In scenes reminiscent of EastEnders,
A MANAGER used her savvy to keep trade going during the power cut by going back to her roots as a market stall holder.
In scenes reminiscent of EastEnders, Natalie McCarthy of womens' fashion store Zero Zero, Bexleyheath, took racks of clothes outside the store and sold them at rock bottom prices to salvage some money during the blackout last week.
The store had been in darkness from last Monday to Wednesday and she decided to don a money pouch and provide handwritten receipts as the shop's tills were down.
She said: "I suppose it did look a bit like EastEnders, the team went back to the old days when we used to have market stalls 20 years ago in Erith and Bromley.
"That's how the business started and we've returned to our roots. We had quite a few people taking advantage of the prices offered.
"But we had to do something and get money coming in, three days without power was a lot to take on board."
They were not the only retailers to show a bit of Dunkirk spirit.
Family-owned butchers, Dennis of Bexley, faced with losing a shop load of stock as the refrigerators had no power, laid on cooked sausages and burgers.
Hosting a cook-off with a massive frying pan, using gas they cooked up their powercut specials including free range bacon rolls and their now popular blackout banger.
Director Wendy Dawson said: "A lot of the staff live locally and they said their neighbours were having to eat cold baked beans, so people seemed really happy to come along and get something cooked."
However, most of the stock held in three walk-in fridges had to be thrown away.
Welling town centre was turned into a ghost town as shoppers stayed away.
A worker at CLC Bookshops, Upper Wickham Lane, said: "People stayed away from the town, we certainly didn't benefit.
"It was like a ghost town for most of last week."
The Mall in Bexleyheath had some power, allowing Boots, Mothercare, Costa, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Holland & Barratt, Clinton Cards and Honey Bee to reopen. Marks & Spencer and BHS also kept trading by using back-up generators.