Get switched on to electrical gifts

Aldiss managing director Paul Clifford says the company is enjoying its best year in a decade.

Aldiss managing director Paul Clifford says the company is enjoying its best year in a decade. - Credit: IAN BURT

A range of factors have ensured sales of electrical goods have been high in Fakenham.

The European Union, The Great British Bake Off, an increase in people wanting to live healthy lifestyles and items in the media have all contributed to department store Aldiss enjoying healthy sales of electrical goods.

Earlier this year, the EU pulled the plug on vacuum cleaners with motors bigger than 1,600 watts.

The new rules, aimed at tackling climate change, banned imports of the more powerful vacuum cleaners.

Aldiss, which has stores at Oxborough Lane, Fakenham and Hall Road Retail Park, Norwich, ensured it was well stocked with the more powerful models before the ban was introduced.


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The company has reported a big increase in sales of the vacuum cleaners, which are still have available at the stores.

Popular BBC television show The Great British Bake Off has had a big impact too.

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Darryl Simpson, commercial director at Aldiss, says: 'We sell a KitchenAid artisan food mixer which is used in the show they have sold extremely well due to the popularity of the show.

'There has been a lot in the media about healthy living recently as well so sales of juicers and mixers for smoothies are also doing very well at the moment.

'In the build-up to Christmas we expect some of the more fun electrical items like the electric popcorn makers and the slush machines to be really popular.

'Coffee makers are also very popular as gifts and, as the cold weather draws in our heaters and electric fire places will do well.'

The WJ Aldiss department store business was started by the Aldiss Family in 1892 when the first managing director, William James Aldiss, started a drapery shop in Norwich Street, Fakenham.

Since that date, the company has moved several times in the town, expanding to larger premises.

In the 1950s, the introduction of furniture by William V Aldiss, the founder's eldest son, meant that Aldiss could provide a wider range of household furnishings, soft furnishings and linens.

In 1988, the company saw Timothy Aldiss take over as the new managing director and the company move to its present superstore site in Oxborough Lane.

Aldiss's current managing director Paul Clifford says: 'We've had a brilliant year overall. It's the best year we have had for 10 years which is amazing really with all the talk of doom and gloom.

'We've seen a lot of people moving home, which is one of the reasons we've done so well – and we're now coming into our golden quarter in the build-up to Christmas.

'I think traders in general are doing pretty well in Fakenham at the moment, which is great to see.'

Click here to find out more about the Shop Local This Christmas campaign.

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