Glasgow hit by sales fever

RETAILERS were predicting record sales as shoppers hit the stores early in a desperate attempt to bag Boxing Day bargains.

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  • The city centre was mobbed on Boxing Day
    The city centre was mobbed on Boxing Day
  • The city centre was mobbed on Boxing Day
  • The city centre was mobbed on Boxing Day
  • The city centre was mobbed on Boxing Day
  • The city centre was mobbed on Boxing Day
  • The city centre was mobbed on Boxing Day

The Next sales at Buchanan Galleries and Braehead were the big crowd-pullers. More than 1000 people queued outside the store at Braehead from 5am to get their hands on the best offers, while there was also a big queue outside the Galleries' store for its 6am opening.

Kathy Murdoch, centre manager at the Galleries, said: "The Boxing Day sales got off to a flying start, with shoppers queuing from the early hours to be the first into the Next sale.

"Retailers have all benefitted from this early rush, with bargain hunters continuing to arrive in their droves throughout the day.

"We fully expect Friday to be just as busy when John Lewis begins its clearance sale at 8am."

Gary Turnbull, general manager operations at Braehead, said: "The early birds were out again this year at the crack of dawn aiming to catch a bargain and more than 1000 people were queuing from as early as 5am for the Next sale.

"Some people had even brought along folding camping chairs to sit on while they were queuing and had flasks of tea and coffee to keep them going.

"We had extra staff on to direct traffic because the car parks quickly filled up and were busy all day.

"By late morning the indications were that we were going to have a record-breaking Boxing Day.

"The number of shoppers is up on last year and they are staying longer to enjoy the facilities we have on offer."

Anne Ledgerwood, general manager of the St Enoch Centre, said: "Boxing Day got off to a flying start, with visitors flocking to the centre from early morning to snap up some bargains.

"By 9.30am our car park was already very busy and many of our retailers and food court restaurants were packed."

She added: "The number of shoppers in the run-up to Christmas Day was very strong - 2% up on last year - and all the signs are it is set to continue over the coming days."

Ian McLelland, centre director at EK, East Kilbride, said: "Despite many retailers starting their sales before Christmas, Boxing Day has again proved one of the centre's busiest days.

"We sold a significant number of EK gift cards over the festive season and, judging from the crowds, it looks like many of these have reappeared in Christmas stockings across the region.

"The Next store's Boxing Day sale is now an established event and the queues started forming outside the centre in the early hours of the morning."

Although John Lewis reopened today for its sale, the bargains began online at 5pm on Christmas Eve, with orders up 13% on last year during the first hour. Christmas Day continued the strong start and saw orders up 19% on last year.

There was one glitch to the Boxing day bonanza in Scotland's busiest shopping street.

The Christmas lights went out in Buchanan Street, between Mitchell Lane and Nelson Mandela Place and power was lost to St George's Tron Church, Edinburgh Woollen Mill and two households after a fault was identified in a power cable about lunchtime.

A ScottishPower spokeswoman said: "We apologise for any inconvenience."

vivienne.nicoll@eveningtimes.co.uk

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