Norwich shoppers eager to bag a bargain

Shoppers flocked to the city centre to bag themselves the best Boxing Day deals as many Norwich stores opened their doors as early as 6am.

Next, on Hayhill in Norwich, was the earliest store to open at 6am, with hundreds of people waiting outside its doors to see what was on sale inside.

Makala Page, 41, from Taverham hits the Boxing Day sales every year, and said yesterday's 9am start is later than usual.

She said: 'Sometimes we come in to the city earlier, but this year we decided to come in a bit later.

'We queued at the till for half and hour. But I really wanted to grab myself a bargain.'

And shopper Lorraine Jewell, 47, from north Norwich, said she and her family went in to the city at 10am to find the best bargain.

She said: 'We had problems finding a car parking space, but we just wanted to see what bargains we could find.'

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Marks and Spencer, in Rampant Horse Street, opened on Boxing Day for the first time this year, and had more than 100 people queuing outside before it opened at 8am.

General manager Mark Robertson reported queues of more than 100 people outside before the doors opened at 8am.

He said: 'Everyone has come out for a bit of fresh air and to see what's going on sale.

'And we are expecting to be even busier tomorrow than today.'

Debenhams, in Orford Place, opened at 7am with store assistants reporting some shoppers running through their doors.

Davina Tanner, Chapelfield's general manager, reported that the shopping centre also had queues outside some of its stores, including the Apple store.

She said: 'Shoppers are taking the opportunity to bag a bargain or two and Chapelfield has a really buzzy atmosphere.'

And added: 'We're anticipating a really busy week as there are some great sale events throughout the centre.'

Over in Great Yarmouth, sales fever also started at 6am when the car park at the Gapton Hall retail park was packed with vehicles and shoppers were forming a lengthy queue outside Next.

Matalan, in Southtown Road, also opened its doors to a steady stream of shoppers at 6am.

In the town centre, Palmers department store maintained its traditional policy of remaining closed on Boxing Day although there was plenty of sales activity and milling bargain hunters elsewhere.

Damien McCaul, manager of Debenhams in Market Gates, said: 'There were people outside when we opened the doors at 7am and we have been busy from then on.

He said: 'We have got fragrances on offer at half price and that's been really good for us. It was the reason a lot of people were queuing up early.'