Shoppers go out in force determined to snap up post-Christmas bargains

BUSY Shoppers yesterday at Gunwharf Quays. Picture: Sarah Standing (133633-6809)
BUSY Shoppers yesterday at Gunwharf Quays. Picture: Sarah Standing (133633-6809)
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THOUSANDS of shoppers shunned their leftover turkey and festive television programmes to head out and grab a bargain.

National figures from retail data company Springboard showed there were eight per cent more shoppers on Boxing Day than the same date last year.

A spokesman from Cascades Shopping Centre, in Portsmouth, said around 1,000 people were waiting at 6am on Boxing Day for Next to open.

Meanwhile, outlet shopping centre Gunwharf Quays saw another busy sales period, with more than 30,000 people packing out the centre on December 26, when post-Christmas sales began.

Gunwharf’s 1,532-space car park filled up, with a queue outside, while many others flocked to the centre on foot, train, bus and ferry.

Gunwharf Quays Shopping Centre manager Sean Sweeney said staff were preparing for another busy time this weekend.

He said: ‘Gunwharf Quays has been really buzzing. We were delighted with the number of shoppers who have visited already. Our stores are reporting excellent sales and we’re expecting to maintain this throughout January.’

Mr Sweeney said the most popular sales were in Ted Baker, Gap, Kurt Geiger and Timberland.

The new £84m Whiteley Shopping Centre also saw around 20,000 people flock to its shops on its first Boxing Day since opening in May.

Manager Neil Carter said people were queuing from the early hours for the Next sale, and that Fat Face, H&M and JD Sports had also proved popular with bargain hunters.

He said: ‘It was not chaotic, just really busy. It’ll be interesting to see what this weekend brings.’

Among the shoppers in Fareham town centre was Byrn Like, 75, from Wales, who was visiting his son.

He said: ‘It’s not as busy as I expected.’

Mother and daughter Michelle Hand, 45, and Leigh Dunlop, 26, had come in to spend gift vouchers in Next.

Leigh, from Fareham, said: ‘I came out with my mum and ended up buying a bargain jumper.’

Couple Clare Blackburn, 24, and Mark Plumridge, 29, from Fareham, were not as impressed. Clare said: ‘It’s too stressful. There’s an occasional bargain but it’s really untidy and things are knocked on to the floor and trampled.’