Shoppers (mostly) form an orderly queue for Boxing Day bargains

Boxing Day sales at the Houndshill Shopping Centre.  Pictured are Lorran Sanderson and Charlotte Marlow.
Boxing Day sales at the Houndshill Shopping Centre. Pictured are Lorran Sanderson and Charlotte Marlow.
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Bargain-hunters kicked the chance of a lie-in into touch to grab some deals in the Boxing Day sales.

Some shoppers were up at the crack of dawn and were fully prepared to queue outside Blackpool’s big stores to ensure they didn’t miss out on half price goods.

At a busy Houndshill Centre people ditched online shopping to see what the stores had to offer.

The centre’s Next outlet had the doors open at 6am, with a queue of around 170 people waiting to get in.

Store manager Angela Grove said: “The good thing was that they formed a nice orderly queue and there was no pushing and shoving. They were most going for the kids’ clothing and that’s where we made most of our sales, with the items at half price or less.

“I’ve been doing this 21 years and it’s been good this year – a bit quieter than last year but then last year Boxing Day was on a Saturday.”

At River Island, store manager Marlyn Osterberg said the biggest rush was for reduced price handbags. She said: “We had between 50 and 100 people waiting, mostly women, and within 10 minutes of opening about 80 per cent of the bags were gone.

“We put them at the front and we were bombarded when we opened at 8am. The customers are loving it.”

A spokeswoman for the main Boots outlet in the centre reported that gift sets and fragrances were the biggest draw.

Not everyone was polite and orderly, seemingly, with reports of one or two shoppers literally resorting to handbags at dawn as they tried to actually grab bargains!

Kelsie Gleadell, 22 of Blackpool, said: “I saw a man and a woman in one store fighting over a handbag!”

Nationally, some experts predicted shoppers would be extra keen to find bargains before the arrival of anticipated Brexit-related price hikes.

Lisa Kelly, 30, of Thornton, said: “I have bought around 30 items from Next, all kids’ clothing, and I’ve saved around £150.

I’ve got two small children aged two years old and seven months and basically I am buying for next year while I can get them at half price today.

I’ve bought them the next size up and they’ll be able to grow into them.”

Kelly Brown, 46, and Peter Watson, 40, of Poulton, said: “We’ve bought nine items from Boots and they were all at half price. We’ve gone for gift sets which are really good bargains. It’s definitely worth going early, even though it is Boxing Day.

“We weren’t quite so early this year but in the past we’ve done 5am and never regretted it. Everyone likes a bargain and when you can get things at half price you don’t mind the early start.”

Kelsie Gleadell, 22, of Blackpool, said: “We’ve been to Top Shop, River Island and Miss Selfridge and we’ve bought some really cool tops and jeans.

“They were half price and even less than half price.

“We saw a man and a woman fightong over a hand bag in one store.

“They both wanted it and they had hold of it in their hands. It’s worth coming out, we didn’t want to miss out and we’ve done well.”