Retailers across Scarborough reported strong interest in the Boxing Day sales, with the town’s shopping centre reporting “record breaking” trading.
The manager at the Brunswick Centre in Westborough said traders had been overwhelmed, with hundreds of thousands of shoppers looking for cut-price goods.
Jim Hughes said shoppers had started queuing in the early hours of Wednesday morning, adding early indications were that almost 50,000 people had been to the centre.
The on-site car park’s 350 spaces were full at 10am.
Mr Hughes said: “It’s become a big tradition that Boxing Day signals the start of the sales and I think over the years people have started saving up for sale time. We have had record numbers this year and we estimate that 48,000 shoppers visited the centre.”
Next was the first Brunswick retailer to open - at 6am. Other major names including Debenhams opened at 7am.
Mr Hughes said: “There must have been about 300 or 400 people queuing outside Next at 6am and there was a large queue outside Debenhams at 7am. It carried on throughout the day. It was extremely busy up until about 5pm.”
Janet Jefferson, president of the Scarborough Chamber of Trade, said high-street spending over Christmas appeared to be down on previous years but Boxing Day was expected to boost the figures.
She said: “It’s been a mixed bag this year but Boxing Day appears to have been the busiest day. People save money for the sales and queue at 6am because they know they’re going to get a bargain.”
Uk tills sent ‘into meltdown’
etail analysts said Boxing Day sales records were smashed nationally as shoppers “sent tills into meltdown”.
The UK average footfall was up by 21.6 per cent with flagship London store Selfridges reporting its most successful first hour ever - with £1.5m through the tills.
The British Retail Consortium had described high-street spending as “acceptable but not exceptional” this festive period but Wednesday’s business was expected to increase the figures.
Analysts at Experian said online shopping had also rocketed with internet users making 84 million visits to retail websites on Christmas Eve and 107 million visits on Christmas Day - up 86 per cent and 71 per cent year-on-year. Amazon UK said it had seen Christmas Day sales increase by 263 per cent over the last five years.