BUSINESSES located at the town centre end of Wigan Lane reap the benefits of having plenty of passing trade and ample parking nearby.
A mainstay of the lane is the Wigan Lourdes Charity Shop and their volunteers have a particular motivation this year.
Lourdes has been hit with the flash floods that have had an impact on South-West France earlier in 2013.
Maureen Sharkey said: “The places we visited on our latest trip were completely underwater.
“We are sending over a cheque of more than £1,000 for the disaster fund. The floods have been quite severe.
“We have a great set of volunteers here, with great team spirit. There are 25 of us and we’re always on the lookout for new volunteers.
“We work on a rota system so people can work either mornings or afternoons.
“During the weekend we have had young people helping out in the shop as part of their Duke of Edinburgh awards.
“And we would like to thank all the people who continue to donate their goods to us.”
A short walk across the road, the Polish Shop is now an established presence.
Magda Wolanska said: “I have been in Wigan now for five years and I used to shop here before I started working here.
“I know we have regular local customers who come in for the Polish products. I recognise one man who comes in for pickled herrings.
“We also have children who come in because they like our selection of Polish sweets.
“It took me a while to get used to the accent, I remember the first time I went shopping, a woman asked if I needed help packing my bag and I didn’t understand. But I’m a lot better now.”
Tracey Heywood’s Sandwich Bar has been on Wigan Lane for nine years.
Tracey said: “We’re at our busiest towards the end of the week and our made to order salads are very popular at the moment.
“We also do our own homemade soups and cakes. We change our soups depending on the time of year.
“Today we’ve got asparagus on, but in the winter we’ll do the usuals like pea and ham.
“We have a special sandwich deal on every day and that also changes in the summer and winter.
“It is a good location because of the free parking nearby and there’s lots of small businesses within walking distance.”