Last minute shoppers rush to stores for gifts and supplies on Christmas Eve

After working abroad, David Hay from Norwich was doing some Christmas Eve shopping for his grandchil

After working abroad, David Hay from Norwich was doing some Christmas Eve shopping for his grandchildren. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

A flurry of people have been hitting the shops today in a last minute rush to buy Christmas gifts.

Thousands of shoppers descended to Norwich city centre at the eleventh hour to grab a hamper for their mothers, a book for their bosses and a Pandora bracelet for their girlfriends.

Queues began to form at the deli in department store Jarrold around midday as shoppers stocked up on those last few items needed for tomorrow's dinner.

Chief executive Minnie Moll said a frenzy was expected in the last hour before closing time, adding; 'Beauty is one of the things we have a huge rush on, and I'm afraid to say that - without sounding stereotypical - that's quite often men rushing in and getting beauty products for girlfriends and wives.'

Ms Moll said whilst the high street has seen a difficult year as more people are shopping online, Jarrold had its best ever sales week - and day - this week.

Jarrolds announced they had their busiest retail week ever last week, bucking the trend for online s

Jarrolds announced they had their busiest retail week ever last week, bucking the trend for online shopping in the run up to Christmas. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant


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Many shoppers also agreed that while there are lots of bargains to be had online, there's no better place than the high street to grab gifts in the nick of time.

Jan Hornagold said she had visited luxury jewellers Tiffany's to buy a gift for her daughter but found they had sold out.

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But on Christmas Eve, with the recognisable blue bag in tow, she said: 'Debenhams had replenished all of their stock.

'I never do last minute shopping ever, but Christmas just bit me on the bum, it seems to really catch us out.'

The food hall at Jarrolds, Norwich proved popular for last minute Christmas shoppers. Picture: Neil

The food hall at Jarrolds, Norwich proved popular for last minute Christmas shoppers. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

Ben Bussens, 26, made a quick pit stop to the city centre to top up on wrapping paper.

He said: 'There's a couple of gifts I couldn't get throughout the week so I've ended up picking those up today.

'Luckily enough by chance I got some slippers for my dad, last pair as well.'

Fran Williams, 19, bought some gifts for her manager at work after receiving an expected gift from her. 'Just because she bought me one yesterday and I felt like I had to get her one,' she said.

Keith Russell, 72, from Swaffham, said he did most of his shopping online as it was more convenient.

When asked whether anyone in his family were particularly difficult to buy a gift for, he said: 'They all were.

'They all have a list of things that they'd like but I give them a list of things they're going to get.'

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