INDEPENDENT traders say they are enjoying a bumper run-in to the festive trading season.

Despite the winter weather cash strapped shoppers hunting for a bargain have hit Dovercourt High Street and helped retailers defy the recession.

David Staines, who opened Home Sweet Home in August, said he has experienced a boost in sales in the lead up to Christmas.

He said: “It has been my first Christmas so I didn’t know what to expect but we are quite pleased.

Mr Staines said he expected a further boom in sales in the final few days before Christmas.

He said: “I think there will be a surge in customers, especially the men.

David Oxley, who runs delicatessen and whole food store Oxley’s of Dovercourt, said business had picked up since their first Christmas trading last year.

He said: “We have certainly been very busy.

“The products we sell like hampers and cheese boards lean towards Christmas.”