Non-essential retailers were allowed to reopen on December 2 as Sunderland left lockdown to enter the new Tier 3.
The day started quietly, with the ever-popular Primark the main focus of shoppers’ attentions.
As opening times approached, groups also began to queue outside crisis-hit department store Debenhams and TK Maxx.
1. Early birds
A queue formed outside Primark before 8am.
2. Bit of bustle
Early scenes at Market Square as more people arrived.
Photo: Stu Norton
3. Awaiting opening time
People gather at troubled department store Debenhams, shortly before 9am.
A small number of shoppers at the ready just after 8am.