Bargain hunters head for Norwich for Boxing Day sales

Shoppers flocked to Norwich and Great Yarmouth as early as 6am to bag themselves the best Boxing Day deals, whilst many shops in King's Lynn, Diss and Wymondham remained closed and quiet.

Next, on Hayhill in Norwich, was the earliest store to open at 6am, with hundreds of people waiting outside its doors to see what was on sale inside.

Sales fever also started in Yarmouth at 6am when the car park at the Gapton Hall retail park was packed with vehicles and shoppers were forming a lengthy queue outside Next.

Makala Page, 41, from Taverham hits the Boxing Day sales in Norwich every year, and said yesterday's 9am start is later than usual.

She said: 'Sometimes we come in to the city earlier, but this year we decided to come in a bit later.

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'We queued at the till for half and hour. But I really wanted to grab myself a bargain.'

Marks and Spencer, in Rampant Horse Street in Norwich, opened on Boxing Day for the first time this year, and had more than 100 people queuing outside before it opened at 8am.

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General manager Mark Robertson reported queues of more than 100 people outside before the doors opened at 8am.

He said: 'Everyone has come out for a bit of fresh air and to see what's going on sale.

'And we are expecting to be even busier tomorrow than today.'

Debenhams, in Orford Place in the city opened at 7am with store assistants reporting some shoppers running through their doors.

Davina Tanner, Chapelfield's general manager, reported that the shopping centre also had queues outside some of its stores, including the Apple store.

She said: 'Shoppers are taking the opportunity to bag a bargain or two and Chapelfield has a really buzzy atmosphere. We're anticipating a really busy week as there are some great sale events throughout the centre.'

But in King's Lynn not even reductions of up to 75pc could tempt out shoppers, as by lunchtime the town's main car parks were half empty, with just a trickle of bargain hunters doing the rounds.

And away from the High Street, many independent traders did not open. Just four of more than 20 businesses in Tower Street were open, along with just two out of a dozen or more on St James Street.

It was a quiet day on high streets in Diss and Wymondham with the majority of retailers keeping their doors closed, and Jarrold and John Lewis in Norwich and Palmers in Yarmouth also remained closed until tomorrow.

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