BARGAIN hunters swamped Chester’s sales starting on Boxing Day and helped lift traders’ pre-Christmas blues.
A queue stretching to the Cathedral greeted staff who opened the doors to Next’s sale at dawn yesterday – a scene repeated outside their Sealand Road store.
Retailers in city centre stores had barely started counting the cost of a slow pre-Christmas period when they were swamped with shoppers braving dismal weather to make the most of massive reductions with some items at less than a third of their normal price.
A spokesperson for Next, Eastgate Street, said: “It’s gone well, we’re having a good day.
“There’s been a steady stream of people since 5am when people were queueing right up to the Cathedral. There’s a small representation of full price stock but we’re selling all the sale stock.”
Other city centre businesses reported shoppers on a massive spending spree.
Women’s clothes retailer Jane Norman, Eastgate Street, is celebrating Boxing Day sales double last year’s.
Manager Gillian Koltuniac said: “We had queues outside before opening at 11am on Wednesday. They were knocking on the door asking to come in for five minutes.
“It was busier than Boxing Day last year, sales were more or less double.
“Sales were quite slow before Christmas compared to previous years but from what I’ve heard the whole city was the same. Hopefully we’ll make up for it in the sales.”
Those wise enough to delay a romantic gesture until after the festive period can buy a diamond and platinum ring from Walton’s jewellers for £4,595 – saving £2,380 on its original price tag.
Keen cyclists can save £1,000 on a top-of-the-range bike going for £2,500 at Chester Bike Factory.
With many people returned to work, the weekend is expected to be even better for city centre stores.