How Worthing shoppers are coping with the credit crunch

CUTTING out luxuries, looking for bargains and stopping spending altogether are just some of the ways Worthing shoppers are coping with the credit crunch.

Worthing is awash with sale signs with huge discounts being offered to encourage shoppers to spend during the recession.

Maria Bell, 34, of Russell Close, Worthing, has been cutting back for the past 18 months.

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"I hardly go out any more and I don't buy any new clothes," she said. "We use blankets at home instead of turning the heating on high."

Pregnant Zoe Killick, from Goring, has taken more drastic measures to deal with the recession.

The 28-year-old has had to move back in with her parents, along with her partner and daughter.

She said: "Both my partner and I have been made redundant. Along with that and expensive car bills, we could no longer afford living in our house."

As well as making changes in their daily lives, Worthing locals have started worrying more about the future.

Alison Feest, 43, from Archibald Road, Worthing, is also worried. She said: "I've got a fixed mortgage, so I'm worried that I'm not going to be able to get as good a deal in a few months' time."

Alison said the sales had meant she had been able to buy in different shops than usual as items had been reduced so much.

County council employee Lou Taylor, 30, said her lifestyle has not changed much as she already watched her spending.

She said: "I shop a lot in charity shops, so I don't see a difference."

Lou is not alone in choosing to buy in charity shops.

The British Heart Foundation charity shop in Chapel Road has seen a rise in customers.

Assistant manager Helen Adams said: "We have a lot of regular customers but are seeing new faces in the shop every day. Younger people, especially, are realising the benefits of charity shops where they can find good value for money."

Ghost town

Things are not so rosy for Patricia Carmen, who owns the Secret Garden florist in the Guildbourne Centre. She said Worthing was becoming a "ghost town".

Patricia, 42, said: "Every day, the takings are down by at least a half. The prices of flowers are going through the roof, flowers that used be sold for 80p in the shop are now 1.50."

However, things are looking brighter for Matt Taylor, who opened the Five-A-Day greengrocers in the Guildbourne Centre just 10 weeks ago.

He said: "Business has been booming. We try to keep our prices as steady as possible.

"Customers like to see what they are buying and don't like to buy in bulk, so local groceries are becoming more popular."

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