Shoppers hunt festive bargains

Shoppers saw how far their money would stretch in search of New Year sales bargains over the weekend as stores in Norfolk reported one of their best ever festive trading seasons.

Shoppers saw how far their money would stretch in search of New Year sales bargains over the weekend as stores in Norfolk reported one of their best ever festive trading seasons.

Some retailers in Norwich reported sales had leapt compared to the same time last year when snow and freezing fogs deterred many bargain hunters.

Many stores chose to remain closed on Boxing Day and not open their doors until December 27 - giving them one fewer trading days.

But John Lewis in All Saints Green said sales had already increased by 16pc.

Finance manger Arthur Griffiths said: “We are absolutely delighted with the way the sales have gone so far. The market hasn't been that strong this year but over the last six months we have faired well and these results continue that.

“The most successful areas for us have been seasonal lines such as linen, towels, bed sheets and duvets along with women's fashion, furnishing and audio and television.”

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Nationally John Lewis reported a record start to its clearance sale last week, with turnover up 10.1pc on the year before, with takings of £19m in a single day.

Jarrold also said the early days of the sales had gone positively. Trading director Anita Hanley said household items, menswear and sports goods at the Pilch store had sold strongly.

“Last year was very difficult because of the weather conditions but this year has been much better,” she said. “We do not yet know how Sunday went but the first four days were very busy and we are comfortably above budget.”

House of Fraser at Chapelfield saw 500 shoppers pass through its doors when it opened at 10am on Boxing Day and since sales have continued at a frenetic pace.

Steve Bunce, general manager at Chapelfield, said the centre had seen good trade overall while Castle Mall was busy throughout the weekend.