Boxing Day sales prove a hit with shoppers and businesses in North East Lincolnshire
BUSINESSES have reaped the benefits from a busy Boxing Day – with Freshney Place Shopping Centre reporting a 17 per cent increase in trade on last year.
On Boxing Day alone, the centre welcomed more than 63,000 visitors, as shoppers headed out to spend their Christmas money and vouchers – and hunt out the best bargains.
And it was a similar story at other major stores across the area, as customers packed out clothes shops, electrical outlets and home interior departments, in a welcome boost for retailers.
Amanda Austin, Fresney Place's centre director, said: "In the final week in the run-up to Christmas, the centre saw a 4.8 per cent increase in footfall, with retail sales being better than expected.
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"Boxing Day has been very good, with a footfall increase of 17 per cent on the previous year and sales exceeding target.
"2012 has been a difficult year.
"However, Freshney Place has performed above the national trend, with more than 13.5-million customers visiting the centre during the year and stores within the centre continuing to hold a high company ranking in the UK for performance.
"I'm delighted we have had strong sales on Boxing Day. The stores have worked very hard and it is encouraging that their efforts have been rewarded.
"I would like to thank all our customers for their loyalty and continued support during 2012 and we look forward to welcoming them back in 2013."
The managing director of Ramsdens, Dave Christy, was also extremely pleased with the start of this year's sales – which are up 10 per cent on last year.
He said: "We opened our home interiors store on Boxing Day and it was very successful.
"There were a few people waiting outside before we opened and, as the day went on, we got very busy.
"We have opened on Boxing Day for the past five years and we are always pleased with how it goes.
"We did expect it go well because we had a very good Christmas campaign and a good sales history.
"We are about 10 per cent up on what we sold last year, which we are very happy with.
"We did particularly well on beds and sofas and we are hoping that the trade will last throughout January. The January sales are where you get the best bargains, and it is also a good way to start the new year."
Although many shops started trading on Boxing Day, a lot of independent stores waited until yesterday and today to open their doors.
Melanie Tillett, chairman of Cleethorpes' Sea View Street Traders' Association, said: "Most independent stores in our area don't open on Boxing Day.
"This is the way it has always been, but we are still expecting a lot of trade.
"Opening a day or two later doesn't make that much difference because we are always extremely busy at this time of year.
"People are usually happy to wait for an independent shop to open because of the nature of what they sell."