WINCHESTER’S Christmas trading period last year saw fewer underperforming businesses, according to new figures.

The Winchester Business Improvement District (BID) took a sample of 66 businesses from around the city for its ‘Business Barometer’ to assess how retailers fared over the festive period in 2017.

The results showed fewer businesses are ‘under-performing’ – defined as reductions in takings of at least five per cent year on year – with a decrease from 25 per cent nine months previously to 21 per cent.

But the figures also show that only 25 percent of businesses are ‘over-performing’ – increases in takings of at least five per cent year on year – down from 27 per cent in 2016.

There has been an increase in the percentage of businesses reporting no change or a reduction in takings, from 46 percent in 2016 to 54 percent in 2017.

For Christmas 2017, the ‘median expectations score’ was eight on a one-to-ten scale, ten meaning expectations were met completely.

The expectations score was also eight for Christmas trading in the previous year.

Of the 66 businesses sampled, 35 were nationals and 31 were independents, with 36 on the High Street and 30 in secondary locations.

The release of the report comes as Justice Jewellers closed with its owner Jon Quayle predicting other independents would follow. A number of shops have closed recently including Jones Bootmaker in The Square and Cadogan.

Mr Quayle blamed the internet but also cited the 2016 armed robbery and the Christmas market impact.