Hundreds queue for Portsmouth's Nike store in Gunwharf Quays as coronavirus restrictions are eased

HUNDREDS of shoppers descended upon a shopping outlet as the shops reopened their doors for the first time in months.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 5:04 pm

At Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, world-famous brands welcomed locals back as coronavirus restrictions around non-essential retail were eased from April 12 onwards.

With thousands of people heading to Commercial Road, the designer outlet provided a relatively peaceful shopping experience by comparison.

But outside the Nike Factory Store in the main precinct, more than 100 people queued up to pick up some new shoes, sportswear and more.

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Towards the front of the queue was Sophie Baker from Port Solent, who brought her four children – Joseph, Rory, Darcy and Romeo.

The family had been queuing outside since 9.15am.

Sophie, 35, said: ‘Nike is the favourite shop for all four of the boys. They play a lot of football and are all in need of some new boots, and Romeo needs some basketball trainers.

Sophie Baker from Port Solent, with children Joseph, Rory, Darcy and Romeo. Picture: David George

‘We were expecting it to be quite busy so have done quite well to be so near the front, all things considered.’

The boys were all looking forward to buying some new Nike Mercurial boots, which are worn by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr and Kylian Mbappe.

Further along the queue was Hannah Turner, with her wife Kerrie and daughter Grace.

The 48-year-old and her family had travelled from Basingstoke to do their shopping.

Queues for the Nike store at Gunwharf - at least 100 people Picture: David George

‘Even though we live in Basingstoke this is still the closest outlet store to us,’ she said.

‘We knew it would be busy but the staff are handling it really well – everything seems to have been put in place.

‘It feels like the old Boxing Day sales, and I feel like I’m just a big kid again. It’s great to be finally out shopping.

‘We thought we would get through the big queue first before heading to the other stores.’

Compared to Nike, other outlet stores had much smaller queues, typically no more than a dozen people at a time.

Clothing stores Ted Baker, Calvin Klein and The North Face were particularly popular among shoppers, as well as Ralph Lauren and Clarks.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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