Welwyn Hatfield shoppers hit the Boxing Day sales

SHOPPERS were out in force from Boxing Day in a bid to snap up a bargain or two.

Welwyn Hatfield joined the rest of the country in bucking the recession, with brisk trade reported at many stores which opened over the festive break.

The Howard Centre in WGC was partially open on Boxing Day, with Next among those opening up – at 7am – for its traditional sale.

A spokesman for the clothing retailer told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “It was shocking – very, very busy.

“There were people queuing right back to the escalators, so it was hectic, but a success.”

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A spokeswoman for Boots said the half-price sales also attracted an impressive amount of shoppers to its store.

She said: “We were glad we opened and were pleasantly surprised with the trade.

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“It was better than a normal working day.”

Charlotte Morgan, manager of Burton Menswear, said: “We were busy so it was worth opening.

“We would do it again.”

A Dorothy Perkins shopworker and a Debenhams shop assistant told the WHT that both stores were extremely busy.

Mark Boringdon, the president of the Welwyn Hatfield Chamber of Commerce, works at John Lewis in WGC.

He told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “We weren’t open on Boxing Day but on Sunday and Monday we had brilliant days.

“There were people mobbing us, it was great.

“Long may it continue.”

A store shopper told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “The place was rammed.

“There were long queues at all the checkouts.

“Many had lots of bag-loads of bargains.”

Tim Stirling, centre manager of the Galleria in Hatfield, told the WHT that December profits were up by eight or nine per cent on last year.

He added: “We were very, very busy. Every shop was open and it was absolutely a success. All the car parks were extremely full so it was very pleasing.”

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