If online shopping is supposed to be killing in-store sales, Boxing Day bargain hunters in Preston didn’t get the email.
Long queues formed early morning outside some of the city centre’s biggest stores as discounts of up to 60 per cent were on offer to the early birds.
Almost 300 people were waiting for Next to open its doors on Fishergate - at 6am.
At River Island over the road the queue snaked round the corner and into St George’s Shopping Centre by the 9am opening.
And Debenhams too had around 50 people waiting at the door to hit the fragrance department looking for half-price bargains.
One shopper, Tracey Pauley, who was enjoying a spot of retail therapy by 8am, said: “I was amazed at the number of people waqiting outside River Island. I’ve not seen a queue like it on Boxing Day for years. I looked online, but I’d rather come into town to do my shopping.”
Debenhams’ store manager Beverley Wilkes said: “Our sale started online on Christmas Eve. We have offers of up to half price across the store.
“But fragrances weren’t included until Boxing Day, that’s why it is so busy in the store today, especially with people looking for perfume and after-shave.”
Sophia Mosalski, ladies;’ product manager at River Island, added: “We are offering up to 60 per cent off and the queue was right round the c orner when we opened. There were hundreds of people. The traditional Boxing Day sale is still popular, despite online shopping.”
Next traditionall opens before dawn for the half-price sale and staff counted 280 shoppers waiting outside at 6am.
“It’s been hectic, very hectic,” said a sales assistant. “When I got here well before six there were 250 in the queue and it was even longer when we opened.”