'We haven't slept': Primark shoppers queue outside city store from 3am
- Credit: Ella Wilkinson
Dozens of people formed a queue which stretched all the way towards The Forum as shoppers woke up early to shop at Primark in Norwich.
Along with scores of other businesses, the budget clothing chain was able to welcome customers for the first time since Christmas on Monday morning.
At 6.15am, around 10 people were already waiting outside the front doors in Haymarket, keen the be among the first to enter.
Half-an-hour later, a socially-distanced line stretching up Hay Hill and onto Millennium Plain had formed, as dozens woke early to hit the high street.
First in the queue were Chelsea Steers and Byron Legge, who said they had been outside the shop since 3am.
Miss Steers said they had been "counting down the days" until they could shop for clothes again, having been in lockdown in Lowestoft since moving from South Africa earlier this year.
She said: "We've been here since 3am, and we haven't slept all night. We downed two Monsters and two cups of coffee.
"After being kept indoors, we've finally been able to get out, shop and get some new clothes. We've been counting down the days."
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Primark, along with other 'non-essential' businesses, was allowed to reopen its stores on Monday in line with the government's roadmap out of lockdown.
A worker at the front of the Norwich store said staff "weren't expecting a queue like this so early", adding that she anticipated a "very busy" day.
With a few minutes to go until the doors opened, one of those towards the back of the queue was 17-year-old Courtney Cattano, from North Walsham.
She was shopping with her friend and planned to pick up new jeans and loungewear.
She said: "I'm really excited to look at all the bargains. We heard it opened at 7am so we thought we needed to go. We knew it would be busy as hell."
And behind them in the queue was Sophia Filby, from Wymondham, with her mother Tamsin.
The 11-year-old said: "We got up at six o'clock. My mum has to work at a certain time and we knew that the queue would probably get quite long, but we didn't expect this.
"I need some leggings as I'm running out, but we will probably get quite a few things."