Boxing Day sale shoppers flock into Norwich
- Credit: SOPHIE WYLLIE
Bargain hunters flocked to Norwich yesterday as the Boxing Day sales got under way.
Castle Mall and intu Chapelfield opened their doors to bargain hunters, as did flagship stores including Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, Next, Topshop and smaller branch stores outside the shopping malls.
However, John Lewis, Jarrold and the Royal Arcade did not open.
Businesses near the Royal Arcade area of the city reported fewer shoppers and sales compared to a 'bustling' intu Chapelfield centre.
Sheridan Smith, intu Chapelfield marketing manager, said: 'Norfolk's shoppers have embraced the opportunity to get out and about for a Boxing Day shopping trip this year. Shops, cafés and restaurants at intu Chapelfield opened at 8am for the early bird bargain hunters and by 10am our car park was full.'
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Department store House of Fraser, and fashion chains Zara, H&M and JD were busy.
But Daisy Smith-Lake, senior sales assistant for Gap on London Street said: 'It has not been manic in the shop, as it has been in previous years.
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Everywhere has been pretty dead apart from Chapelfield.'
She added more people were shop-ping online during the sales and buying from Black Friday events rather than visiting the shop.
Louise Willis, assistant store manager for Next on Hay Hill, said there were fewer shoppers in the city centre store compared to previous years and the roads going into the city were not very busy.
She said: 'It has still been busy all day though. We had 350 people in the queue at 6am this morning.'
She added that the store had been busy in the run-up to Christmas and its online sale had been popular after launching before Christmas Day.
A quarter of Britons, 23pc, were expected in the Boxing Day sales, down from 32pc last year, according to Barclaycard.
The figures suggest the incentive to buy in the sales has weakened following widespread discounting, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday, that continued into December.
But post-Christmas shoppers were still predicted to go on a £3.85bn bargain hunt yesterday, spending £2.95bn on the high street and another £900m online, according to VoucherCodes.co.uk and the Centre for Retail Research.