March 11 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Thousands of bargain hunters took to town centre streets today to capitalise on Boxing Day sales across the region.
Towns in east Suffolk and Essex reported roaring trade to mark the start of the post-Christmas period, while towns in west Suffolk were also busy.
Mike Sorhaindo, manager of Tower Ramparts shopping centre in Ipswich, said it had enjoyed “very brisk trade” despite some shops not returning from the Christmas break.
He added: “River Island, for instance, started their sale today and had a tremendous queue there this morning of people waiting to grab a few bargains.
“Customers have become quite astute at bargain hunting and it’s become part of the tradition to go shopping on Boxing Day. “We’re expecting a really good trading day and an excellent start to the post-Christmas season.”
Staff at Next on Colchester’s High Street reported that this had been their busiest Boxing Day sale to date since the clothes retailer started opening at 6am on Boxing Day about three years ago.
“People were queuing by 6am – we were told some of them had been here since 4.30am,” said sales assistant Michelle, who declined to give her surname.
“We work a 12-hour day on Boxing Day – 6am to 6pm - and offer a lot of items at 50% off. The best deals are to be found early. Because we open first, people come to us and then find a café to have some breakfast before going onto the other stores.”
At music and DVD retailer HMV in Culver Walk, Colchester, a staff member said they had been “very, very busy” with people queuing outside before the doors opened yesterday morning, eager to make the most of the discounts.
There were early morning queues too on Lion Walk outside River Island, where sales adviser Mina Ameen said the store had been “exceptionally busy.”
“We had a good run-up to Christmas and things have just continued with a lot of items being up to half-price.”
Sarah Fox, Aldeburgh mayor and director at Aldeburgh Market, said the town was “heaving” with shoppers.
“The sales are on in some of the more well-known shops –lots of people have come out to have a post-Christmas Day stroll on the beach and hopefully buy lots of stuff – we are very pleased with the turnout,” she said.
There was good news in Bury St Edmunds, where one local trader compared the volume of people to what he would typically see on one of the town’s market days.
Gary Fayres, a sales assistant at Linens Direct, said: “There’s certainly a lot of people milling around. Everyone seems to have come out shopping. It’s more like a typical market day, so it’s definitely busier than your average day.”
Shopper Sarah Everitt was up early to get her taste of the sales, but found the town surprisingly quiet at around 8.30am.
She said: “I don’t think there was the appetite to get there early doors! Obviously a lot of stores open at different times on Boxing Day, which may have something to do with it, but I was sure it would pick up later.”