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It’s a shopping frenzy
SHOPPERS came out in force to grab last-minute bargains before Christmas.
Shops in Basildon and Southend town centres were packed out over the weekend and yesterday as the big day moved closer.
Many shoppers were even able to grab some bargains as a number of High Street chains have already made reductions of up to 50 per cent ahead of the eagerlyawaited January sales.
Mike Horton, manager of the Eastgate Centre, in Basildon, said: “It was very busy all weekend and sales have gone very well.
“The queues have been just phenomenal, crowds were forming even before the tills opened on Sunday.
“There are some great bargains to be had and sales have already started in many stores.
“Shoppers are a pretty savvy lot and they know, year on year, if they wait until nearer the big day they can pick up some great reductions.
“Online shopping is obviously part of the experience now, but for a lot of people there are limitations online, and theywant to see and feel what they are buying.”
Free parking at most car parks across Southend and Basildon on Sunday is thought to have boosted trade.
An estimated 200,000 shoppers were thought to have descended on Southend town centre over the weekend.
Neil Raven, owner of family- run Ravens department store, in Clifftown Road, Southend, said: “It’s a shame we had rain because it isn’t ideal for shoppers, but the town centre was still very busy.
“The free parking on Sundays has certainly helped bring people in this year. I think it’s a really good idea, because we need to do what we can to keep our High streets going.”
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