SHOPS say they have seen a sales bonanza as bargain hunters have flocked out in search of post-Christmas bargains.
Commercial Road, Gunwharf Quays and Cascades Shopping Centre have all been bustling with shoppers since Boxing Day.
By yesterday lunchtime the Gunwharf Quays car park was operating a one-in one-out system for the third day in a row, and the number of shoppers in Portsmouth’s Cascades was ‘amazing’, centre staff said.
In Commercial Road yesterday even sudden downpours of icy rain failed to put off the crowds.
Katy Roberts, assistant manager for Waterstone’s, said the store was enjoying bumper sales.
‘We are pleased with how things are going,’ she said.
‘In the last few days we’ve had a lot of people coming through the doors.’
Shopper Debbie Edwards, 46, from Portsea, was bargain hunting in Commercial Road yesterday.
She said: ‘I’ve bought perfume and gift sets and I plan on using them as presents for Christmas and birthdays next year.
‘It seems just as busy in the town as it has been in previous years.’
Louise Ireland, who was out spending Christmas money with her daughter Sophie, said: ‘It’s definitely busy in Portsmouth this week.
‘We’ve enjoyed getting a few bits from New Look and it’s all about getting out and about with the family. We’ve enjoyed ourselves.’
Maggie Hunter, 53, of North End, managed to find a half-price artificial Christmas tree for next year.
She said: ‘I’m not normally a sales person, but I fancied popping down Commercial Road and seeing what I could find.
‘Portsmouth needs more shops though.’
Mike Hancock, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development, said: ‘The shopping areas in Portsmouth appear to be thriving.
‘I’ve been to Palmerston Road, Gunwharf and Commercial Road, and all three are packed with shoppers.
‘This is great news for the city.’
Peter Emery, centre director at Gunwharf Quays, said: ‘It’s a bit premature to know our exact figures.
‘But just glancing around the scheme, there’s a real buzz here, and it’s been the same since Boxing Day.
‘We’ve had a couple of successful days, and there are more to come.’
Tony Pewsey, operations manager at Cascades Shopping Centre, said: ‘We had an awful lot of people in for Boxing Day.
‘In the three-and-a-half weeks leading up to Christmas we were 3.2 per cent up on the same time last year, with around 960,000 visitors.
‘We’re packed, it’s quite amazing.’