Trade in Sheffield city centre has been a washout

Umbrellas in the rain
Umbrellas in the rain
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SALES of wellington boots, waterproof jackets and umbrellas have risen in Sheffield as city-dwellers attempt to stay dry in the rain.

Shoppers have been snapping up wet weather gear - while the poor weather has made trading conditions a washout for a group of Moroccan stallholders based on Fargate.

The traders have travelled from Marrakesh to sell traditional goods including ceramics and textiles.

One of them, Lahcen Bighurbane, said the rainy weather was very different from the hot, dry conditions in his native country.

“It’s too quiet for business,” said Lahcen, aged 26.

“It’s really difficult. We’ve only had about 10 customers a day - people are staying in their houses! It was very hot last April, we weren’t expecting this.”

He said the stall will be running for the next week, but added: “I hope the weather improves.”

At Go Outdoors on Hill Street, however, shop assistant Luke Majer said there had been ‘significantly higher interest’ from customers.

“People have been asking for umbrellas and wellingtons, they’re making sure they’re stocked up with those things,” he said.

“They’re definitely more interested in simple, waterproof jackets too.

“Most of our customers like to prepare for pretty much every condition.”

Sarah Stone, operations manager for fashion at John Lewis in Barker’s Pool, said the wet weather had driven up sales of umbrellas.

“In our women’s wear department, customers have been buying more rain jackets, with brands such as Four Seasons and Barbour selling particularly well,” she said.

“The menswear department has also seen an increase in demand for outerwear.”

Part of Chesterfield Road was closed from Valley Road to Albert Road yesterday due to flooding, and local football matches on council-owned pitches also risk being cancelled because of waterlogging.

But a spokesman said referees will decide whether to abandon games.

“We have checked with the parks officers about the football pitches and they have decided to leave it to the referees to decide on match day,” he said.

“However, due to the ground conditions and the forecast of further rain, the line markings may be poor or non-existent on some sites where staff are unable to mark out, and this may influence the referees’ decisions.”