Shoppers out early in search of bargains

PUBLISHED: 06:30 28 December 2012 | UPDATED: 10:08 28 December 2012

Bargain hunters hit the streets of Norwich for the post Christmas sales.

Bargain hunters hit the streets of Norwich for the post Christmas sales. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Archant Norfolk

It was jingle tills as the sales got into full swing across Norfolk and north Suffolk.

While some stores opened for Boxing Day trading, many more shops opened for their first day of sales yesterday.

In Norwich, Peter Mitchell, managing director for Jarrold, said: “I think it could be one of the strongest first day of sales we have had for several years.”

Richard Marks, managing director of John Lewis in Norwich, said: “Excited customers were waiting outside at 8am yesterday and we were steadily busy all day.”

At stores Jonathan Trumbull and Hatters director David Kingsley said they had been as busy as they were on the first day of sale last year.

Meanwhile, David Finlay, who runs clothes store Elements, said that Boxing Day trading had been well up on 2011 and yesterday had also been busy.

Roger Pemberton, Norwich Lanes Traders Association chairman, said there was good footfall in the district yesterday, although while it was busy he had seen it slightly busier.

Both the city’s shopping malls had opened on Boxing Day and enjoyed a busy second day of sales yesterday.

Victoria Merrison. marketing manager at Castle Mall, reported: “Boxing Day footfall was up on last year by about 2,500 people. It was really, really busy.”

Davina Tanner, Chapelfield’s general manager, said the centre looked extremely busy and had a “very buzzy atmosphere”.

Department store Aldiss reported a positive start to the sales. Managing director Paul Clifford said the stores at Oxborough Lane, Fakenham, and Hall Road Retail Park, Norwich, had been significantly busier than in 2011.

In Dereham, Stuart Page, manager of Peacocks, said the first day of the Boxing Day sales was quite quiet but it was busier yesterday.

Nigel Sizeland, manager of the Dencora development which includes Wright’s Walk, said after 11am yesterday the town centre was very busy and nearly all the car parks were full.

In Cromer there were a few offers available on the town’s comparatively quiet streets. Stead and Simpson, M & Co and Boots were among those advertising ‘Up To 50pc Off.’

At Bakers and Larners in Holt, a spokesman said the store was very busy from 10am.

In Diss, Charlie Nevitt, owner of Leisuresport, said trade since Boxing Day had been “about normal”, but added that the shop only had a small number of goods in the sale and that most of his customers were not looking for discount goods, while those who were looking for cheaper sports goods tended to head into Norwich for the sales.

After a slow start on Boxing Day, shoppers in King’s Lynn yesterday headed to the town centre in their hundreds. Some of the town’s largest stores including Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Wilkinsons opened for the first time since Christmas and all seemed to be doing a good trade.

Abbi Panks, marketing manager for the Vancouver Quarter, said “It has been really busy with lots of people out spending their Christmas money.”

In Great Yarmouth yesterday Market Gates shopping centre and Palmers department store thronged with people clutching carrier bags of shopping. Ian Howkins, managing director of First Furnishings – which has stores in Market Gates and Baker Street, Gorleston – said shoppers began to queue up at his shops from 5am on Boxing Day even though its sale did not start until 10am.

Sales fever also swept through Lowestoft. Emma King, town centre manager for Lowestoft Chamber of Commerce, said: “The sales have been very popular, which is promising at this early stage.”

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