Norwich stores report strong sales as shoppers bag bargains

Shoppers salivating for sales discounts headed to Norwich city centre yesterday to grab the first bargains of the Christmas sales.

Chapelfield, which opened at 10am, heaved with shoppers until 6pm.

With Jarrold, John Lewis and Marks & Spencer all opening their doors today, the shopping centre and Haymarket were the focus of bargain-hunters' attentions. Next and Topshop drew particularly big crowds.

Those heading to the sales early treated themselves to coats and shoes with up to 70pc off.

Shops reported high footfall and strong sales, giving a further boost to a great year for Norwich's retail reputation. Marketing manager at Chapelfield Shopping Centre, Sheridan Smith, said: 'It has been a very busy day. We are really pleased to have done so well because a lot of the shops in the city centre were shut.

'We are hoping the sales season is going to be in line with the results for the rest of the year. Traditionally the week between Christmas and the New Year is very busy.'

The shopping centre opened at 10am and by 10.15am its 1,000 car parking spaces were full.

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Shoppers also flocked to The Mall shopping centre, in the city, as shoppers went on the hunt for bargains.

Some chain stores began their sales on Christmas Eve to entice last-minute gift shoppers but yesterday the rush began in earnest.

In Great Yarmouth it was still quiet but department store Debenhams recorded a bumper sale day at their branch.

A spokesman for the company said: 'It was really busy in Norwich and Great Yarmouth and we had people through the door all day. Our most popular products sold were beauty and fragrances, woman's wear and accessories, and also electricals in our homeware section, especially kitchen items.

'Boxing Day is always our busiest day of the year.'

As well as hunting for bargains in the big chain stores, shoppers are being encouraged to support local and independent shops and businesses through the Evening News's Love Local campaign.

Do you have a story about Norwich's retail scene? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email