Shoppers queue for hours to splash the cash in Boxing Day sales spree
NEW mum Rifhat Hussain was a first-timer at the Boxing Day sales – but that did not stop her getting up at 3.30am, queuing for two hours and spending £500.
Mrs Hussain, who had her first child – a boy – eight months ago, said she had been persuaded to go to the sales by friend and family so she decided to do it in style.
But by 9am yesterday morning, the 31-year-old, of aptly-named Sale Street, in Normanton, said the experience would definitely be a one-off.
She said: "I've always avoided the sales and this is the first time I've come but never again – not after standing in the queue for two hours and spending this much money.
"I didn't come out with a budget but I didn't think I would spend this much!"
Mrs Hussain spent the money in Next on clothes for her son, nieces and nephews.
She was just one of thousands of shoppers who visited the Westfield centre in Derby yesterday hoping to bag a few bargains.
Next was the first to welcome customers, at 6am, with TopShop, Boots and Debenhams an hour later, and Marks & Spencer and River Island at 8am.
Bina Akram, who did not even go to bed, waited in the Next queue for four hours before the doors opened to buy clothes for her two children.
The 29-year-old, of Littleover, said: "There were about 15 people in front of us. I have never seen it this busy before. Everyone was pushing – it was horrible."
Pregnant mother Amanda Abbott braved the sales on her own, getting to the city centre at 6.45am – leaving partner Lee Parkinson and 15-month-old daughter Ava in bed at home in Normanton.
Miss Abbott, who is 21 weeks pregnant, had just found out that her second child is a boy and was celebrating by stocking up on clothes for the baby's arrival.
She said: "I was so excited and wanted to come to kit the baby out, as I have nothing for a boy. I have a £60 budget but I can got to £80, if I have to."
The 22-year-old said she had not expected to queue for so long and was planning on going home to bed as soon as she had finished in Next.
Farida Nasrat arrived in Westfield with 12-year-old daughter Sabhia Butt, sister Rashida Sadieq, 42, and niece Sairish Jhangir, 19, at 5.30am.
Mrs Nasrat, of Taverners Crescent, Littleover, said: "We've been coming for years. We mainly get things for the kids. Shopping is one of my favourite pastimes. I look forward to the sales – it's the only time we can really afford anything to be honest, with the prices these days."
Beth Powell had gone to the sales for the first time with friend Jo Woolley, both of Littleover.
Miss Powell, who has two children, said: "It's a bit early for us. We got up at 7am and were here by 7.45am.
"We usually shop online but there was nothing really there this year for the children in the Next online sale – it seemed to have all gone."
Marsha Forster-Brass, marketing manager at Westfield Derby, said that although the exact figures would not come out until todayshe thought it would prove to be a good Boxing Day, in terms of sales.
She said: "The Next sale was as busy as last year. I would estimate we had about 2,000 through the doors of Westfield by 9am."