Shoppers queue from 12.45am for Hull sales
THOUSANDS of shoppers turned out in the middle of the night to pick up a Boxing Day bargain in Hull.
Bleary-eyed shoppers queued from 12.45am yesterday in St Stephen's shopping centre to ensure they had the pick of the cut-price goods.
Clothing retailer Next holds one of the centre's biggest sales and opened its doors at 6am.
Paul Watson, security supervisor at St Stephen's, arrived at the centre shortly before the doors opened.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
He said: "The queue for the Next sale stretched from its front doors through the centre to TK Maxx.
"The centre was extremely busy and it only got busier throughout the day.
"We had people queuing from the early hours so they can be the first in the stores when they open.
"Boxing Day is always extremely busy and this year has been no exception."
Customers in the centre were swept into a shopping frenzy as stores slashed their prices in a bid to lure people in.
Amid the mayhem, Sandra Walkington and her husband Glen, of north Hull, were already on the hunt for next year's Christmas presents.
Sandra, 48, said: "We got here as early as we could to try to get the best bargains.
"It is absolute carnage but we do it every year and we really enjoy it.
"It's a bit of a tradition."
Glen, 51, said this year seems busier than ever.
"It is pot luck whether you get park in the car park," he said.
"Once you get in the shops, it's every man for himself."
Staff at stores including Next, Zara and H&M battled against the tidal wave of shoppers in an attempt to keep the sites tidy.
Mike and Ashleigh Croft travelled from Beverley with their two sons, eight-year-old George and Benjamin, three, to St Stephen's.
Mike, 44, said: "Some of our friends came and queued before the stores had opened and said it was already manic at 8am.
"It's not usually something we would do but we felt it was an opportunity not be missed this year because of how careful we have had to have been with our money.
"I think this year will be a one-off for us. I've never known shopping to be so stressful."
Stores are hoping the Boxing Day sales will provide a financial boost as shoppers redeemed vouchers and sought out the best bargains.
Prospect Shopping Centre also experienced a busy day of trading as shopping fever swept across the city.
Martin Davis, operations manager at the centre, said the Boxing Day sales were well attended.
"The centre is always busy with people looking for the best bargains and spending the vouchers they got for Christmas," he said.
"We had queues outside Boots 40 minutes before the store opened and there has been a steady stream of people shopping in Currys and other stores."
Trading is expected to be buoyant over the rest of the festive period and into the new year.