Boxing Day sales: Thousands of shoppers out to bag a bargain in Sunderland

Boxing day sales shoppers (left to right) Janet , Amanda and Sarah Gardner

Boxing day sales shoppers (left to right) Janet , Amanda and Sarah Gardner

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Almost 70,000 shoppers flocked to The Bridges to bag a bargain.

There were queues from 5am this morning as people gathered to get their hands on the first sale items.

Boxing day sales shoppers in the Bridges

Boxing day sales shoppers in the Bridges

Among them were Sarah Gardner, 39, from Thorney Close with her sister Amanda, 42, and their mum Janet Gardner, 67.

She said: “We got here about 10am and it was pretty chocka, there wasn’t much left, but we still got some good bargains.”

Amanda said: “We do the Boxing Day sales every year and always have a list of what we want. We’ve made some good savings, particularly at Boots, the Perfume Shop and Debenhams.”

Neil Atkinson, 32, from Plains Farm, who works for Calsonic Kansei, was out shopping with partner Leanne Conlin, 32, and children Dillon, nine, Daniel, seven and Rosie, two.

(rear left to right) Daniel and Neil Atkinson, Leanne Conlin, Dillon Atkinson with Rosie Atkinson (front) during the Boxing day sales at the Bridges

(rear left to right) Daniel and Neil Atkinson, Leanne Conlin, Dillon Atkinson with Rosie Atkinson (front) during the Boxing day sales at the Bridges

Plains Farm Academy pupil Dillon said: “It was great, we got some Star Wars toys from the Card Factory with our Christmas money and some Star Wars earphones from the Disney Store.

“We tried to go to Game but the queue was out the door.”

John Green, retail liaison manager, said: “We had hundreds of people queuing from 5am with stores opening from 6am. The car parks were very busy and it’s estimated we had around 70,000 customers through our doors.

“We have had some great new additions to the centre this year with brands such as Pep and Co and Tiger opening new stores. With other stores refitting and expanding it’s been a very good year for the Bridges and we are looking forward to a very positive 2016.”

In Murton, it was a slow start to Dalton Park’s sales, but it soon picked up.

Jerry Hatch, centre manager, said: “It was a slow start with the weather, especially with us being outside. But it picked up by midday and by 3pm we were 1 percent ahead of last year.

“The big stores, such as Next, M&S and Gap traded strongly, but it was a steady day across all retailers. For the whole of the Christmas week, we’re 9 percent above last year’s figures.”