Bargain hunters queue outside Bury shops ahead of sales

This Is Lancashire: Shoppers on The Rock, Bury, snap up a bargain in the Boxing Day sales Shoppers on The Rock, Bury, snap up a bargain in the Boxing Day sales

SWARMS of shoppers eager to snap up Boxing Day bargains queued outside Bury’s high street shops an hour before they opened.

At Next in The Rock, queues formed from 5am and swelled to 500 people at 5.45am before doors opened at 6am.

This had dispersed by 7am — but there were also smaller queues of shoppers waiting to go in both River Island and Debenhams.

River Island sales adviser Erin Seabright said she had to push through a queue of around 100 people to get to work for the 8am opening.

She said: “The queue snaked around the side of the store and back to Superdry, three shops away. As soon as we opened the doors everyone flooded in.

“All the sales handbags disappeared within 10 minutes and it was clear we had taken a lot of money in the first hour or so.

“I moved from footwear to the sale area because of how busy it was.

“I have worked at River Island for three years now and that is probably the busiest sale we have ever had.”

The Mill Gate centre in Bury reported footfall was up 2.5 per cent, with almost 30,000 people visiting the shops over the course of Boxing Day.

Pete Barber, Mill Gate centre manager, said many shops including Boots, Clintons, New Look, The Body Shop and HMV reported excellent trading figures.

He added: “The festive season as a whole has been very successful for Mill Gate and our retailers.

“The last Saturday before Christmas was extremely busy with more than 73,000 people visiting the centre, achieving an increase of 7.65 per cent footfall on last year.It was also a successful period for our community projects in the centre with the Bury Blind Society’s luxury gift wrapping service raising £3,700 and the Bury Hospice Festival of Trees raising more than £4,500.

“We’d now like to wish all of our shoppers a Happy New Year and we look forward to seeing them in 2014.”

Meanwhile, staff at fashion retailers Jacamo and Simply Be, based in The Rock have been celebrating after reporting an 81 per cent increase in their combined pre-Christmas sales.

Nathalie Rigby, store manager at Simply Be and Jacamo, said: “Ahead of Christmas we reported our most profitable week of trading to date.”

The Trafford Centre also enjoyed its biggest Boxing Day sale in history.

While the centre itself opened its doors at 8am some stores let in customers from 5am and by opening time Selfridges had at least 500 people waiting outside. Richard Paxton, general manager, said: “Cars began to arrive as early as 3am, ready for the Debenhams sale opening at 5am, followed by Next and USC at 6am, and Selfridges at 8am. Many people appear to be buying in bulk, with the shops working hard to keep the shelves fully stocked.”

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