SHOPPERS were out and about bright and early ready to bag a bargain in yesterday’s Boxing Day sales.
Hartlepool and East Durham played its part in contributing to what was expected to be a record-breaking near-£3bn spending spree nationally as early birds snapped up treats in the post-Christmas sales.
Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, in Hartlepool, saw plenty of shoppers keen to bag a good deal as soon as the centre opened at 9am.
Bosses at the centre believe free parking also helped to boost trade.
The queues also formed in the early hours at Anchor Retail Park, at Hartlepool Marina, where Next put on its traditional early bird sale from 6am, and the tills were also ringing at other retail complexes, including the Highlight Retail Park, also in Hartlepool, and Dalton Park, near Murton.
Mark Rycraft, manager at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, said: “Our staff told me that generally, footfall in the centre yesterday was quite good, it certainly looked promising.
“We were open from 9am and in general the car parks were quite full.
“We had free parking, as there traditionally is in Hartlepool on Boxing Day, so that people can enjoy the Christmas season sales.
“There are some retailers in the centre that had some cracking sales on, including River Island and Sports Direct.”
Despite the economic doom and gloom, nationally, bargain hunters looked set to spend £2.9bn in yesterday’s seasonal sales, according to research by MoneySupermarket.com, with thousands queuing up from as early as midnight in London and other major cities including Manchester and Birmingham. Some online retailers made the most of the season of goodwill and started their sales on Christmas Day.
with online seller Amazon making a roaring trade.