Shopping malls prepare to welcome thousands of Boxing Day bargain-hunters

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AFTER THE retail pandemonium of ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Panic Saturday’, tens of thousands of shoppers are expected to converge on the region’s shopping centres today to hunt down the latest bargains.

Stores at shopping outlets and on High Streets throughout the region are braced for a bumper Boxing Day as determined customers hit the sales rails.

Staff at Trinity Leeds were preparing for the onslaught of shoppers from the early hours of Christmas Day.

With some major stores already advertising discounts of up to 75 per cent, extra staff will be on duty to help control the crowds.

Experts predict that the total spend today will be more than £1m.

The general manager for Trinity Leeds, Kevin Duffy, said: “We are very prepared for what looks like could be one of the busiest sales days of the year.

“We had a fantastic Black Friday with a 29 per cent increase in footfall compared to the same day last year.

“Visitor numbers and retailer sales since then have remained strong and we’re expecting more of the same on Boxing Day – despite the shorter trading hours, we’re still preparing ourselves to welcome well over 60,000 bargain hunters.”

Meanwhile White Rose shopping centre predicts a turn-out of 65,000 shoppers today.

Next stores across the region were the first to open their doors at 6am this morning. In further proof that the internet has a long way to go before it beats traditional shopping, Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping mall reported a rise in the number of last-minute festive shoppers.

Centre director Darren Pearce said: “Christmas is the most important time of year for retail, and as a team we start planning for this period months in advance to ensure the very best shopping experience for our customers.

“We’ve tailored opening hours this year to ensure shoppers can suit their own schedule.”