Record queues to see latest technological innovations at Norfolk event

Shoppers lined up in record numbers to see the latest technological innovations and bag a few bargains at the launch of the region's biggest retail electronics showcase.

The Bennetts Hi-Tech Show opened at the Norfolk Showground with huge queues and more than 30 exhibitors displaying home entertainment, computing and connectivity technologies.

Visitors also had the chance to try 3D head-mounted visual display glasses, virtual surround sound systems and 3D camcorders.

Mark Ferdani, general manager for Bennetts Retail, said the unprecedented first-night visitor figures could be partly explained by people looking to replace their televisions in preparation for East Anglia's digital switchover.

'It is certainly the biggest queue we have ever had,' he said. 'There have been plenty of people arriving, which goes against the economic situation at the moment, and we have the digital switchover which helps as well.

'I have seen a lot of people buying small digital TVs and second TVs for their home.

'This is our 19th show and it is all about connectivity and smart TV this year. We are always looking to bring things to people first.'

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Mr Ferdani said the early success was particularly pleasing in the show's first outing since Bennetts went into administration earlier this year and was subsequently acquired by Hughes Electrical.

'I think there is an important message to put across that a lot of what the old Bennetts did was good, and we have not had to change a lot,' he said.

'It has been a traumatic time but despite that we can still put on a show that is well supported by customers, and I am grateful for that – because without them we are nothing.'

The Bennetts Hi-Tech Show continues from 10am to 5pm this Sunday, October 30.

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