Bargain hunters see tills jingle in Flintshire

Published date: 27 December 2013 |
Published by: Jamie Nield-Siddall 
Read more articles by Jamie Nield-Siddall  Email reporter


Shopping Park manager Colin Gilligan said customers started queuing in the early hours of the morning.

He said: “There was the usual large queue outside Next – people had started queuing from about 3am. It has been really busy all morning.

“The River Island sale was on and that is always popular with people.

“I think it is going to be a bumper Boxing Day. It seems to be have become a bigger feature on the calendar.”

He said over the past 12 months retailers at the shopping park had noticed a change in habits with their customers and had to adapt to meet the demand.

“We have seen people change their shopping habits with the growth of online shopping,” he said. “This is having an impact on all forms of retail.”

Mr Gillian, who is anticipating a positive 2014, added that they have “seen a significant growth” in people placing orders online and collecting from the shopping park.

Mold town centre was also said to have seen a steady flow of customers taking advantage of the seasonal sales.

Rachael Pilkington, who works at New Look in the town, said: “It has been busy today. There has been a steady flow of customers.”

Thousands of people also headed out in Wrexham yesterday for the Boxing Day sales.

About 1,000 bargain hunters were seen queuing outside Next at Eagles Meadow from 6am.

When the doors opened, shoppers dashed towards the most popular section, children’s wear, which had to be closed off for a while due to the sheer volume of bargain-hunters desperate to take advantage of the heavy discounts on offer.

First in the queue were Jenny Clutton and Tiffany Underhill, both of Caia Park, Wrexham.

Mother-of-two Tiffany said she arrived at the shopping centre just before 4am.

“It’s been cold but worth it and we are really pleased to be first in line although when the doors open it will be a mad rush anyway,” she said.

“I’m only looking for clothes for my two children.”

Jenny, who also has two children, was shopping for clothes for her two boys, aged two and three.

“I only want children’s clothes and unless you are prepared to get her really early and be one of the first in, you are going to miss out,” she said.

Kevin Critchley, manager of Eagles Meadow, said a lot of people had saved themselves hundreds of pounds by dashing to the sales, adding “it really was worth the effort”.

“We have some very happy shoppers,” he said.

“But those who did not get up before the crack of dawn need not worry, there are plenty of bargains left.”

However, Christmas sales were not good for everyone in Wrexham, with some independents traders saying sales were down.

Lee Gladman, of Dragon DVD on Henblas Street, said: “Unfortunately we have definitely had a decline in sale over 2014 and December has been no different.

“I have been here since 2010 and it was great back then.

“But last year I was down 50 per cent and this year I am down again.

“There is just no atmosphere here.

“I have tried reducing my prices in line with competitors and have gone to online prices on games, but it just hasn’t helped that much.”

Brian Watkins, of Mabon Models in the General Market, has also had a tough Christmas.

He said: “This year and this Christmas has been horrific.

“People in Wrexham are happy to buy all the rubbish in town but they won’t buy quality, they are just not interested.

“My prediction is that in five years time Wrexham will be made up of cheap pound stores, charity shops and nothing else. It’s very sad.”

Cllr Rodney Skelland, Wrexham Council chairman of the employment, business and investment scrutiny committee, believes the town centre has been doing well in the run-up to Christmas.

He said: “I have had no major complaints from any retailers and the town seems to be as vibrant as it has done at previous years at this time.”

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