It’s shop until you drop as sales frenzy hits Spalding

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The great sales stampede that swept Britain on Boxing Day hit Spalding last week when doors opened at one of the town’s main department stores.

Nationally, the number of shoppers hitting the high streets across the UK was reported up by a fifth compared to last year – and the upturn in retail confidence was certainly felt in the town.

Rain threatened to put a damper on the start of the sales in Spalding, but the brave turned out anyway taking refuge under their umbrellas.

Shoppers were queuing at the door when Hills in Broad Street opened its doors for the post-Christmas sales at 10am on Thursday.

Just after lunch the managing director Darryl Simpson was helping out on the shop floor because the store was so busy.

Mr Simpson said: “We followed the national trend with shoppers waiting until the last week before Christmas, but we’ve been busy ever since.

“There was a queue waiting outside when we opened for the sales and a mad rush for bargains in the shoe, fashion and electricals departments - and we are hopeful it will stay busy as people are still off work.

“All we can do is keep going and keep smiling.”

Customer Annie Walker, of Long Sutton, was armed with two boxes of cut price toiletries.

She said: “It’s been busier today than before Christmas. I did all of my shopping then except for buying a gift for one person who was always with me – but I’ve been able to get it today for less, which is a bonus.

“I do a lot of my next year’s shopping from the sales because you can get such good bargains.”

Brenda Hawkins, of Shearers Drive, Spalding, was searching through a range of T-shirts in the sale. She said: “Unfortunately they haven’t got my size left, but I always come and have a look. We are so lucky to have a store like this in a town of this size.”

Down the street in the Market Place, Hills furniture store was also reporting a busy day.

Manager Edward Hall said: “After being a bit slow when we opened at 9am because of the rain, things have really picked up with a good foot flow.

“We’ve had a good positive start – although it’s a slowly, slowly catchy monkey with us with people measuring up and then coming back later to buy.”

Springfields outlet shopping centre was expecting a busy Boxing Day after shops reported sales were up on last year’s in the run-up to Christmas.

Tracey Thomas, communications manager, said: “Early signs are it’s been very busy since Christmas, although we won’t have the exact figures for a few days.”