Tis’ the season to go shopping

Feature on Christmas shopping fever. Meadowhall.
Feature on Christmas shopping fever. Meadowhall.
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TILL bells ring, are you listening...

Christmas shoppers are taking to the streets across South Yorkshire in their droves as the festive bargain hunting finally gets into full swing.

After a slow start, retailers at shopping centres across the county and on the High Street have reported booming sales - despite the recession and public sector job cuts.

It seems that despite the economic doom and gloom, shoppers are still prepared to spend money on Christmas.

In Sheffield shoppers could be seen laden down with bags bulging with gifts, car parks were bursting at the seams and there were lengthy queues for the tills as the big day draws ever closer.

With 15 shopping days left, the story at Meadowhall was the same.

Centre director Darren Pearce said: “As to be expected the centre has been busy over the last few days as consumers prepare for Christmas.”

In Sheffield major stores were also seeing presents fly off the shelves.

Traditional toys, plus practical items like hot water bottles were proving popular gifts at Atkinsons on The Moor.

Manager Graham Firth said: “It’s as busy as last year, which is great for us.

“The problem last year it was very snowy and bad underfoot so we were expecting it to be as busy if not more.”

At Crystal Peaks, car parks were reportedly 98 per cent full at most times.

Manager Lee Greenwood said: “We’re really happy with the performance so far. The car parks are busy but flowing pretty well and Christmas is certainly in gear here.

“There’s a lot of shoppers doing what they do best.”

At TJ Hughes, which was sold to Lewis’s Home Retail earlier this year, deputy manager Julie Hancock said: “We’re not as busy as last year but as far as the new company is concerned we’re doing really well.

“Men’s Regatta boots and coats, perfume gift sets and Christmas decorations are going better than ever before.”

“It’s absolutely heaving”, said Elaine Retallic, operations manager at Frenchgate shopping centre in Doncaster.

“It’s as though December 1 came and everyone started shopping.

“Even days we normally count as quiet are busy.”

VOX POP

How are you getting on with your Christmas shopping?

Heeley mum-of-two Kirby Poell, 24, a beauty therapist, said: “I did all my Christmas shopping two weeks ago.

“I just went to Meadowhall and Toys R Us to get it all out of the way.”

Craig Wilkinson, 29, had taken a day off from work as a Ryman manager to shop.

He said: “This year the idea is to get it all done today but I’m failing.”

Shopping partner Abbi Cozens, a 24-year-old Sheffield student, added: “I leave it to the last minute though I’m dreading Meadowhall.

“I was going to do it online but it doesn’t feel as Christmassy.”

Grandma Margaret Smith, of Firth Park, had been trying to find toys at Argos.

The 57-year-old said: “They were for my grandson in London but the toys are not all there.”