Blackpool’s retailers were as busy as ever yesterday as shoppers descended into the town centre to be the first to get their hands on Boxing Day sale bargains.
The Houndshill Shopping Centre opened shortly after 5am to welcome in the punters ahead of a busy day of trading.
Next was the first store to open its doors at 6am and store manager Chris Boyes said there was plenty of people waiting.
He said : “The first people started to arrive at 5.30am to get here early and by the time we unlocked the doors there were about 120 people.
“It has been a mad rush and I would probably say it has been the busiest Boxing Day sale we have had here in a couple of years.”
Chris believes the dry weather may have persuaded more shoppers into the town but also because of the items on offer.
He added: “We have had more stock and variety in previous years and the discounts have been good. Nearly everything in the sale is half price and everyone seems to have had a good time getting some bargains.”
Another of the Houndshill stores opening early for the sales was sportswear shop JD Sports.
Store manager Jamie Macklin said it was a steady morning with trainers being the biggest sellers since the store opened at 7.15am.
He said: “We have had a busy morning with a good mixture of people coming in, some after they have been in Next. It can usually get busier at around midday as well.”
Another sportswear shop open for the sales was Footasylum and store manager Gareth Earnshaw said it has been busier than ever.
He said: “There was a lot more people waiting outside for us to open than previous years and we have been smashing sales since we opened at 7am.”
The chain has opened another store at the former River Island unit and Gareth says because the stock varies in both shops they have both been equally busy.
River Island held its first Boxing Day sale at its new store after taking over the old H&M shop earlier this year.
The store’s product manager Adam Banks thinks it has been a quieter sale this year for adult clothing in the store.
He said: “I don’t think it has been as busy as last year. A lot more people are going online for the sales as it saves them coming out early on Boxing Day. We do still have a good selection of stock in store though.”
Liam Roberts, the deputy manager for the store, agreed with Adam but added: “We did still have a good amount waiting to get in and they came flying in when we opened the shutters.”
Bucking the trend was the children’s section which was “busiest we’ve ever seen” according to Josie Sly from the stores management team.
She said: “We were being mobbed with people rolling under the shutters to get it.”
Shoppers were also delighted to pick up some bargains in the sales.
Hayley Gouhar, 27 from South Shore says it is her ‘ritual’ to come to the Boxing Day sales in Blackpool and brought her friend Samantha Bond, 28. from Marton along.
Hayley said: “I have to come every year. I think Blackpool is much better for sales than other places I have been like Oxford.”
Samantha said: “We have been in River Island and Next and I have picked up some stuff I am going to save for presents next yeart but the Boots sale is the one we have been waiting for.”