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Shoppers flock to Norwich shops for Christmas presents

Christmas shoppers in Norwich City centre. 
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Christmas shoppers in Norwich City centre. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2010

Tills were ringing in Norwich shops at the weekend as shoppers defied the freezing temperatures to buy presents for family and friends.

Saturday saw large crowds flock to stores in the city on what was described nationally as the busiest shopping day of the year with a predicted £1.6bn being spent in the nation’ stores.

In Norwich sales at John Lewis rose by 8pc as customers were not been put off by the cold snap, which had led to fears that people would stay in instead of going on a festive shopping frenzy.

Richard Marks, general manager at John Lewis on All Saints Green, said: “Despite the snow on the lead onto the weekend we ended Saturday on eight pc higher sales.

“After a slow start the shop became very busy in the middle of the day. Gift food and premium beauty products sold particularly well.”

John Adams, trading director at Jarrolds department store, said: “We have had a busy weekend.

“Things got off to a slow start at first on Saturday, but then by 11am it had definitely picked up, with more people coming into the city.”

There was further evidence of the busiest shopping day of the year in Norwich from stores in the Mall shopping centre.

David Holder, manager of Peacocks fashion store which had bargain deals for jeans and party wear, said: “Saturday went better than anticipated. We were quite surprise by how many customers we had. The day went very well indeed.”

A spokesman for Claire accessories store said as well as Christmas presents people had been snapping up gloves and scarves to help keep them warm during the Arctic conditions.

In Great Yarmouth Stuart McGee, director of Palmers Department store said: “We are about 20pc up from last year.

“Sales were up across the board, but our fragrances and china sections did very well.”

Nationally about 12m Christmas shoppers were expected to spend £1.6bn on gifts, with people spending an average of £148 on presents.

Did you join in Saturday’s shopping frenzy or prefer shopping earlier for presents?

Write to the Evening News at Letters, Evening News, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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