INDEPENDENT traders in Devizes are still feeling a severe affect on their business from coronavirus lockdown, nearly two months after they were allowed to open.

The Devizes Indie group carried out a survey on its 50 members and found that 90 per cent had been forced to adapt the way they trade and more than half reported that trade was still down.

One shopkeeper said: “Revenue dropped off almost completely at the beginning of March and has not recovered though it would be true to say there have been bursts of activity where customers have been keen to get back to normal.

“These are welcome but not yet enough to sustain the business.”

But even businesses that have adapted to meet changed demands are finding life


A baker said: “We have acquired more wholesale business, bread is the main product but keeping ovens hot through to the late afternoon means that at present there are certain patisserie products we can not bake because ovens are too hot for them.”

Another business owner said: “We always try to be optimistic and there will be a recovery but we are not confident that our business can survive in its current form.”

Devizes MP Danny Kruger visited the town to show his support for local traders and urged people to shop local.

He said: “From my conversations with retailers, it appears the masks are something of a restraint on trade.

“I very much hope we all get used to wearing them and can resume browsing and shopping as before.

“I spent some time with Justina Pettifer of The Healthy Life Company in Little Brittox, who has traded throughout lockdown and is optimistic about a new – more sustainable, more local, more healthy – model of shopping.”.