Sheffield bargain hunters out in force

Record crowds: 750,000 shoppers are predicted to have visited Meadowhall by the end of the week.
Record crowds: 750,000 shoppers are predicted to have visited Meadowhall by the end of the week.

SHOPPERS set tills trilling as winter sales at Sheffield stores gave a much-needed boost to the city’s recession-hit high street.

Queues formed outside big city centre department stores, while Meadowhall is predicting a record 750,000 visitors through its doors by the end of the week.

John Lewis at Barker’s Pool opened its doors to more than 200 eager bargain-hunters who were waiting at 8.30am.

Sarah Stone, operations manager for fashion, said the store was soon buzzing.

“Customers made their way to men’s, women’s and children’s fashions,” she said.

“Best selling lines so far are duvets, towel bales and our special buy china and glass sets.

“We are also seeing strong sales of champagne in preparation for the New Year’s Eve celebrations,” she said.

Graham Frith, store manager at Atkinson’s on The Moor, said around 50 people were waiting for the opening of its biggest ever sale.

“First to go were cards, wrapping paper and bags, all for Christmas next year and all with 50 per cent off,” he said. “It always amazes me how organised people are, planning ahead like that.

“We’re still at an early stage but beds and fashions are going well.

“The weather has also been perfect for shopping with no ice, no snow and little rain. It’s our biggest sale because we are planning so many changes for the new year. Big changes are coming and it’s an exciting time for us all,” Graham added.

At Next in Fargate, doors opened at 6am - with plenty of people waiting outside.

Assistant store manager Jason Dearden said targets were being broken and shoppers seemed happy with the variety of stock on offer.

“Knitwear is proving especially popular, cable and thick knits are going well,” he said.
“Bodycare products are going well, as well as all the Christmas wrap for next year,” he added.

Julie Hancock, acting manager at TJ Hughes’ new store on The Moor, said the response from shoppers had been ‘fantastic’ with sales double what had been budgeted for.

“We haven’t the stock we had due to space, but men’s and ladieswear have been going well, along with fragrances.

“It’s much busier than we expected and it’s all been a bit of a surprise.”

Meadowhall spokeswoman Caroline Woffenden said footfall in the complex had been phenomenal with many stores packed out.

“Going really well are luxury goods and fitness lines, perhaps part of a post-Christmas health kick.

“Health and beauty products are also selling - including false eyelashes, apparently!” she added.