Cost of living crisis: Leeds shops feeling impact of rising costs and changing customer behaviour
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Bills are soaring in the United Kingdom, meaning many no longer have the spare funds for excess spending. Some do not even have the funds for necessary spending, as evidenced by pleas from foodbanks for donations.
Kirkgate Market in the heart of the city centre is drenched in history having first opened back in 1822.
200 years later, however, several traders who operate in the market have claimed their shops are not at their bustling best.
Chris Brain works at Bluebird Bakery, a stall which has had to raise its prices in order to keep up with the increasing cost of ingredients required for their baked goods.
“People are looking in their wallets and sighing at the amount of money left in there, I’ve seen that a few times,” Chris explained. “I notice a lot of people walking by and commenting on prices.
"We’ve had to put prices up because the cost of ingredients is going up. I don’t know if that’s going to change, it might do again.
"I imagine people will start struggling to purchase things from the market, which is supposed to be inherently cheap. It’s a local market but people are struggling here as well.”
Eve Johnson has worked behind the counter of B&M Fabrics for the last five years and has also seen customer behaviour change in the midst of the crisis.
Just like Bluebird Bakery, B&M Fabrics has had to raise prices to keep up with the current economical climate.
"Everything has gone up,” she said. “Anything that we have originally that hasn't gone up in the past 15 years has gone up nearly by a pound or 50p.
"A lot of people can't afford that extra bit so they're having to be cautious when they're buying things.
"If they have their own business, they're either not buying it or having to put up their prices as well so it's just a continual domino effect of everything going up.
"The containers for shipments have nearly tripled in price. From working here, that's a massive thing. We've always kept thing affordable. We're not making any more profit but we're having to put the prices up.”
Beyond the confines of Kirkgate Market, Eve also pointed to the “frustration” felt by people in relation to several issues being caused by the cost of living crisis.
“It's the frustration of prices of rent, it's the frustration of transport and things just not being efficient,” she explained. “It's putting people out of place.
"They're finding it hard to survive because they're still working as hard but not everything's going up with prices. They can't maintain the things that they used to have before."
The country is now waiting with bated breath for plans of new prime minister Liz Truss, who is already being called upon to help households and business with their rising energy bills.
She has officially been announced as Boris Johnson’s successor and inherits the leadership of a county embroiled in a battle to cope with rising prices.
The former Roundhay School pupil has vowed to act “immediately” on bills and energy supply and also outlined plans for an announcement on the plan regarding energy bills.