SHOPPING bags were full to bursting as students took part in an annual city centre lock-in.
More than 8,100 students crammed into The Bridges shopping centre for the event.
The Bridges, in partnership with Total Students and local events company Route 69, opened exclusively for students in the region from 6.30pm to 10pm.
Students went along in their droves to the one-night-only event and enjoyed a host of entertainment, including buskers performing on the malls and free hair braiding and makeovers in Topshop.
The event gave students the opportunity to shop ‘til they dropped, with retailers including River Island, Topshop, Tucci, New Look, Krispy Kreme, Schuh, USC, BANK and Debenhams all offering a host of exclusive offers and discounts.
Students also had the opportunity to get up close and personal with snakes, spiders and other creepy crawlies, thanks to the Sunderland Business Improvement District’s Discovery Zoo.
Sales across the centre were up by 15 per cent in comparison to last year’s event, with a host of retailers having dozens of students queuing out the door for most of the evening. Speaking about the event, Andy Bradley, centre director at The Bridges, said: “Once again our Student Lock-In provided a brilliant night of shopping and entertainment for our local students.
“We had thousands of pre-registrations for the event and on the night, we had 8,171 students come along.
“The event was also a huge success for our retailers, with many of them reporting huge surges in sales on the night. We loved seeing so many students visit the centre and hope they enjoyed the event as much as we did.”