Bargain hunters bid to empty shelves

TJ Hughes
TJ Hughes

QUEUES of bargain hunters lined up to get into a city centre store yesterday as New Year sales set tills ringing in Sheffield.

While many stores’ sales got off to a quiet start, TJ Hughes on High Street reported shoppers waiting outside at 10am when doors opened.

And stock was continuing to disappear fast throughout the day – with Christmas-themed merchandise selling out quickly to shoppers preparing almost a year in advance for the festive season.

Assistant manager Julie Hancock said: “We’ve done really well. New Year’s Eve was a quiet day, but we’ve done better than we thought we would today.

“There are people queuing to get in now, Friday was extremely busy and we were busy right until the last minute on Christmas Eve.

“Fragrance, menswear and linens have done really well.

“We’ve sold out of our Christmas stock and the majority of men’s clothes and menswear, those stockrooms are empty. Obviously, last year was a bit bumpy with us going into administration but we’re hoping this is going to be the start of a good year.”

Bare rails and empty shelves were the scenes facing shoppers who hit other shops in Sheffield city centre yesterday morning in search of further bargains.

At Next the rails of cut-price stock were looking thin – after the store on Fargate opened at 6am on Boxing Day to launch its annual sale.

Manager Amber Rabjohn said: “The past few days it has been more returns than anything. We’ve been busy but the money hasn’t been that good, although over Christmas we’ve done really well.

“We’re just waiting for our new stock to arrive now.

“People have been buying a lot of bodycare and we’ve had some of our new stock out so we’ve been selling that too. Suits and office clothes for people ready to go back to work have been popular.

“Hopefully, this is the start of what the rest of the year will be like.”

Linens were the most popular item snapped up in the sales at John Lewis in Barker’s Pool, a store spokesman said.

Operations manager Simon Walker said: “We’ve certainly been extremely busy and we are really pleased with what we did last week. We think we’ve probably outperformed the market.”