Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sales Can Still Lure the Crowds; Stores See Record Numbers of Boxing Day Bargain-Hunters

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sales Can Still Lure the Crowds; Stores See Record Numbers of Boxing Day Bargain-Hunters

Article excerpt

Byline: By Chris Robinson

SHOPPERS hit the stores in their droves yesterday for the first day of the sales.

For the first time consumers were able to log on for a bargain as some internet sites offered up to 70% off products just hours into Christmas Day.

But the traditional Boxing Day sales - particularly in out-of-town shopping venues such as the MetroCentre in Gateshead - still lured the crowds.

Marks & Spencer were one of the companies who opted to start their festive sales online on Christmas Day. A spokeswoman said the company was expecting at least 200,000 shoppers online for Christmas.

Electrical retailers PC World and Currys, as well as general retailer Argos, also began their online sales on Tuesday.

Despite Eldon Square in Newcastle keeping its shutters down, high street stores in the city welcomed bargain hunters.

A spokesperson for Barker and Stonehouse, in Leazes Park Road, Newcastle, said: "Traditionally, Barker and Stonehouse always have their winter sale now and it is always traditionally a strong period for them."

Queues began to form on the route to the MetroCentre, Gateshead, from as early as 7am.

Although most of the centre's stores didn't open until 10am, department store Debenhams' sale began at 8am, and by noon, the mall had seen more than 40,000 bargain-hunters keen to take advantage of large reductions, particularly on electrical goods.

Marketing manager Karen Carr added: "We are confident we'll beat last year's Boxing Day record of more than 50,000 shoppers.

"This year has certainly been challenging for retailers, but many of this year's bargain hunters are keen to get their hands on high-end electrical goods such as games consoles.

"The Nintendo Wii and the DS have been exceptionally popular, so I'd say it's been a comfortable run-up to the Christmas season all in all. …

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