Shoppers hunt for a bargain in Boxing Day sales

Boxing Day sales start in Ipswich town centre.

Boxing Day sales start in Ipswich town centre. - Credit: Lucy Taylor

Shoppers braved the cold to make an early start on the Boxing Day sales in Suffolk and north Essex today.

Shoppers flocked to Colchester to hit the Boxing Day sales.

Shoppers flocked to Colchester to hit the Boxing Day sales. - Credit: Archant

Some of the keenest people were queuing outside stores in the region ahead of doors opening at some of the national retailers’ local branches.

At Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre in Ipswich people were ready to begin bargain hunting before 8am.

Mike Sorhaindo, centre manager, said: “Boxing Day is hugely important and people were queuing for the opening.

“Retailers have enjoyed a busy run-up to Christmas and this is continuing now we’re into the sales period.”

Kirsty Marsh, assistant manager at River Island, said: “We opened at 8am and there was a small queue outside and a real rush straight away.

“It was very busy from the start and that has continued with plenty of shoppers in here.”

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At Topshop Sian Grey said: “It has been busy here and while Topman was quite quiet to begin with business has picked up there as well and there are a few people about in the centre with a lot of the shops open.”

Staff at Freeport Braintree shopping centre also said today had been “really busy”.

This picture was reflected nationally with some shoppers queuing outside Selfridges in London from 10.30pm on Christmas Day.

However much of the bargain hunting has been taking place online this year, with many retailers’ sales beginning at 5pm on Christmas Eve.

John Lewis noted strong sales in the first hour of its clearance sale, with another peak from 9-10pm on Christmas Day.

Today online shoppers were expected to spend £748million, or £519,000 a minute, and make 167 million visits to retail sites – up one-third on last year, according to data firm Experian and online retailing trade association IMRG.

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