The festive jingle of sleigh bells was replaced by the jangle of busy tills yesterday, as bargain hunters took to Blackpool’s streets in search of a Boxing Day steal.
At Blackpool’s Houndshill Shopping Centre most stores were getting busier and busier by late morning, as many people made the most of a bank holiday lie-in.
But hundreds of the most dedicated of shoppers paid their usual pilgrimage to fashion retailer Next in the town centre complex, with doors there opening at 6am.
Store manager Angela Grove worked with a team of 80 staff until 6pm on Christmas Eve preparing the rails for the start of the sales yesterday – and said around 250 people were in the early morning queue before opening.
“The queue gets bigger every year, but compared to last year - where some people were awfully behaved – everyone was great this morning,” she said.
“Childrenswear is always a big seller in the sale, that’s what people really come in to grab.”
Among those making the most of the early opening was mum and daughter Trudy and Leah Scott, who are staying at Ribby Hall Village for Christmas and New Year, visiting from Wigton in Cumbria.
Trudy said: “We got here at about 6am, we were just walking up as they opened the doors and everyone was running in to Next.
“We had to wait about half and hour, and we were out of there by 7.30am.”
Leah, 17, managed to bag an outfit for New Year’s Eve celebrations, as well as some other goodies, adding: “It’s my own money as well as money I got for Christmas, it’s great.”
Ploughing through the rails at 9.30am, Carla Green, 24, from Fleetwood, said: “We were concentrating on our little baby for Christmas so just had some money which we’re spending now.
“We were expecting the shop to be empty by now, but I’m hoping to get some good stuff.”
Sisters Sally McGlynn and Katy Wilson make the trip to town each year on Boxing Day, with bulging bags full of treats for their children.
Katy said: “We don’t come in too early, usually come just before the other shops start to open.”
Other shops started to open from 8am, with some leaving it as late as 10am before pulling up the shutters - which tied in with when more shoppers hit the town.