‘It’s an absolute nightmare’ – Shoppers in Sunderland city centre have their say on the second national lockdown

With the second Covid-19 lockdown looming, shoppers have flocked to Sunderland city centre to grab what they need before stores close.

Wednesday, 4th November 2020, 2:36 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th November 2020, 2:37 pm

From midnight on Thursday, November 5, non-essential shops will be closed until December 2 as England enters a second national lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The coming closure saw the public head to the shops throughout the North East to get what they need before lockdown begins, with queues for shops such as Card Factory and Primark forming in Sunderland city centre on Wednesday.

Fast food worker Caitlin Richardson was out Christmas shopping. She believes that shops shouldn’t need to shut.

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Shoppers in Sunderland city centre have had their say on the upcoming closure of non-essential shops.

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The 22-year-old said: “It’s been an absolute nightmare, I’ve had to come down and get my son some clothes for Christmas, children are always growing and always need clothes.

"I know you can go online but it is better to get them in person.”

Caitlin wasn’t the only person finding shopping difficult, 33-year-old Lisa Smith shared her experience of having to queue with her son in a pushchair.

Caitlin Richardson has used the last day of shops being open to do Christmas shopping.

The mum-of-two commented: “The queues are long again and you can’t get what you want, whenever you want it.

"It’s difficult when you’ve got young children, especially if they are in a pushchair as some shops are limiting how many are allowed in.

"I think this will be my last shopping day this year.”

Lisa Smith said waiting in queues can be a problem for those with small children.

"I wouldn’t dare venture into Primark, the queue is that long.”

For some, it was a return to what it was like before the Covid-19 outbreak at the start of this year.

Kris Lovestad said: “It’s the busiest I’ve seen the town since before lockdown in March began, but we haven’t found it too bad.

"It seems like the worst queues are for Card Factory and Primark.”

There were huge queues outside of Primark as shoppers head to Sunderland city centre before lockdown starts. Photo: North News & Pictures.

Kris’ sister, Catherine Polly added: “I knew that it would be busy, I’d expect the pubs will be the same tonight.”

Not everyone was struggling with the surge of shoppers, 69-year-old Shelia Alderson had just come out of Primark.

She commented: “We’ve managed to get straight in most shops, some have had queues but they haven’t been too bad. Once your inside, it’s all good.”

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Brother and sister Kris Lovestad and Catherine Polly said the city centre was the busiest it has been since lockdown.
89-year-old Laura Gallagher said that she is refusing to go in shops where there is a queue.
Shelia Alderson says that despite the queues, the shops are easy to navigate once you're inside.