Page last updated at 07:43 GMT, Monday, 9 March 2009
Downturn's winners and losers
Stefan Boczek
Stefan Boczek has reopened the furniture store he used to manage

Many local shops throughout south Wales are hoping to ride out the recession and survive to live another day.

Selma Chalabi took a trip around her neighbourhood in the Grangetown area of Cardiff for the BBC Radio Wales current affairs series Eye on Wales.

Penarth Road has more than a dozen independent shops selling a range of goods from saris to furniture.

"What has surprised me talking to people on this street is that there are plenty of winners here," says Selma.

Taking the plunge

Stefan Boczek is now his own boss. After seven years managing the furniture shop Treehouse, he has just taken the plunge and re-opened it after the previous owner closed it down.

"It's not a depression, it's not half the country out of work. It's affected 20-30% of the population but the other 70% are the ones who are coming to see us," says Stefan.

"There are still lots and lots of people out there working with good income, with disposable income, and they still need to buy furniture from somewhere," he adds.

"I need to be open, I need to be there to take the money and help them out. That's what I do for a living."

Further down the road, A2Z Property Lettings and Sales is picking up business, but its good numbers hide some bad luck stories.

"There's been an increase in the number of tenants becoming available and the number of properties becoming available due to the fact that a lot of the people who cannot afford the mortgages have been repossessed," says proprietor Yasur Tafail.

"I would say 30% of our tenants now have come from that background."

Fridges and ovens
The recession has caused a boom in second hand fridges and ovens
Property letting is not the only industry to expand during these dire times. Whilst the white goods industry is currently floundering with job losses to come at Hoover and Indesit, business is booming for the cleverly named Sell Fridges.

Owner Paul Phillips has seen his trade in re-conditioning and selling on flood and fire damaged white goods double in the month of February alone.

"We're selling quicker than we can actually repair and clean. It's an industry that does boom in a recession. We're looking for more cleaners, more engineers, delivery drivers, more staff for the shop," he says.

"Business has been very good to me this month - fingers crossed it stays the same."

Brian Jones of FA Jones wallpaper store
Brian Jones believes his family business can ride out the recession
Not everyone is doing so well. The well established paint and wallpaper store FA Jones is feeling the pinch.

Manager Brian Jones says: "You're hearing nonsense all the time in the newspapers, but this one is definitely the worst - there's no question about that.

"We're not in the habit of losing staff, but if we've lost anybody we haven't replaced them."


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