POMPEY’S pre-Christmas home game against Southampton should give a bit of festive cheer for local shops, whatever the outcome.
That’s the belief of the people who run Gunwharf Quays, Cascades, the city centre and Southsea shops, and Albert Road.
The scheduling of the December 17 clash between the south coast rivals means it falls on what should be one of the busiest Christmas shopping days of the year.
But Rhoda Joseph, who runs Cascades, said she was not concerned about customers steering clear of the city centre on the day.
‘I suspect quite the opposite will be true,’ she said.
‘What I think happens is that, mostly, the men will go to the game and the wives will come in with them and do their shopping then, taking advantage of the peace and quiet.’
Meanwhile, Barry Walker, city centre manager, said: ‘With the traffic improvements that have been made I don’t think people will even worry about the traffic implications of the match.
‘The match will actually be good news for the traders at Christmas.
‘They’ll be in town anyway so may think they might as well visit the city centre at the same time to do their shopping.’
Ian Parmiter, of the Albert Road traders association, added: ‘We should not be affected by it here, and certainly not in a bad way.
‘Albert Road is more about unique gifts.’