Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Shoppers go bargain hunting at the sales

Ulster public out in force as stores re-open for business

Large numbers of Northern Ireland shoppers hit the sales today as stores re-opened their doors for business.

The rush was on for many to get that bargain - with shoppers hoping for at least 50% off.

Woolworths, Currys, PC World and Argos were among the chains opening their doors today, with some retailers having already discounted heavily via their websites.

Kitchen appliances - dishwashers, fridges, and cookers - were in big demand, said many outlets.

Shopping centres reported some queues of people waiting to get in when doors opened.

Bangor, Newry, Ballymena, and Antrim shopping centres all reported good demand. It was the same story in Londonderry, Enniskillen, Cookstown, and Omagh. IKEA, near the George Best City Airport, was busy.

And PC World at Sprucefieldand was hectic, said one salesman, as people poured into the store hoping to save hundreds of pounds.

Meanwhile, an estimated 3.6 million people spent part of their Christmas day shopping for bargains online, according to Interactive Media in Retail Group (MRG).

In all, around £52m would have been spent across the UK during the day, the e-retailing trade body said.

Marks & Spencer reported brisk trading.

A spokeswoman said: "The online sale started at one minute after midnight and we were particularly busy between midnight and 1am. "

Back on the high street, reductions of up to 75% were on offer with women's clothing expected to be one of the most heavily discounted sectors.

Retailers were keen to make up for a lacklustre pre-Christmas performance which saw some chains bringing in early sales of up to 50%.

British Retail Consortium director general Kevin Hawkins said clothing, furniture and kitchen appliances should see good reductions.

"It all depends on just how much stock retailers have been left with after Christmas," he said.

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