Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Spend, Spend, Spend; Bluewater

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Spend, Spend, Spend; Bluewater

Article excerpt

Byline: ADAM GILLHAM

EUROPE'S largest shopping centre was busy today but it was obvious that many people had stayed away to avoid the crowds, writes Adam Gillham.

Bluewater shopping centre near Dartford normally sees crowded malls and traffic jams on its busiest days. But people were amazed to find the roads clear and almost no queues at the centre which is open from 9am to 4pm today.

Bluewater chiefs say that this Christmas is still set to be a record at the cash tills.

Some stores have reported this year's run-up to Christmas has exceeded all expectations. Sales are up by 13.4 per cent on last year.

A Bluewater spokesman said: "It is quite busy today and I think we are going to have a lot of last-minute shoppers. This has been a record year for Bluewater. Many of the stores say the sales have exceeded their expectations and many are having record years. I think a lot of people have taken advantage of being able to shop later during the week. …

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