SNOW and ice have dealt a huge blow to trade at Flintshire’s biggest retail park.

Broughton Retail Park boss Colin Gilligan told the Leader the number of shoppers visiting the park tumbled dramatically last week after the big freeze caused treacherous conditions on roads across the region.

He said: “The sales were going well to start with but then the snow arrived and it has had a massive impact on us.

“It’s been quite tough going over the last week or so. Our footfall was down by 18 per cent last week.

“Our biggest losses were on Tuesday and Wednesday, when we had the biggest snowfall.

“The council did a really good job on clearing the main roads but many local roads were really bad, so people did not leave the house.”

The loss has come as a blow for Broughton Park, just weeks after reporting some of the best ever takings in the run-up to Christmas.

Although the ice has now begun to melt and many public services have returned to normal, more snow is forecast to fall in parts of the region today and tomorrow.

Mr Gilligan added: “It is starting to thaw out a bit now, so we’re hoping things will pick up in the next week or so, but apparently the weather might get a bit scary again in the next couple of days.

“We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”

Shop managers also reported a drop in trade, but say they are hoping to come back fighting when the weather improves.

Justin Faddes, deputy manager at the park’s Game store, said: “We have definitely noticed a drop in our figures, obviously due to the bad weather.

“Footfall has been lighter and we had to close the store early on Tuesday and Wednesday because of the snow.

“But we are hoping for a good January when the weather improves. There are some good sales on and I’m sure things will pick up.”

A duty manager at Asda Living said: “Trading has been very light, particularly on the first day of the bad weather, which I think took everyone by surprise.

“We had a fantastic December but then the snow hit us. It’s just the footfall that has been the biggest problem for us.”

She added the store’s bosses were hoping trading would pick up again as the weather improved.