Havering shoppers are hungry for Christmas bargains

PUBLISHED: 16:41 29 December 2015 | UPDATED: 16:41 29 December 2015

Christmas shopping at the Mall Mercury Gardens, Romford.

Christmas shopping at the Mall Mercury Gardens, Romford.


Despite having just finished a Christmas dinner of gargantuan proportions, shoppers across the borough haven’t slowed down in the pursuit of bargains.

At the Liberty Shopping Centre, retailers saw more than 1 million shoppers visit the centre during the last two weeks.

In the buildup to Christmas, parents across the borough were keen to grab the must-have toys of the year, although hoverboards wasn’t one of them apparently.

Spencer Hawken, deputy centre manager at the Mercury Mall in Romford, said demand for the much-hyped gadgets fizzled out quickly.

He said: “They have hovered away.

“As soon as they were made illegal, demand dropped and the stall selling them in the centre immediately closed.

“Anything to do with Star Wars, games consoles, craft making or wellness - such as spiralisers - has been very popular this year.”

Despite having less customers visit the mall this year, Christmas spending increased by 2.6 per cent during the festive period.

Spencer said this was helped by the weekend when Star Wars came out, as shoppers were also in Romford to see the Coca Cola truck and meet Geordie Shore TV star, Vicky Pattison.

He said: “Our footfall was up 28pc on Sunday December 20, from 2014.

“It was very very busy - even busier than days that are normally crazy like the weekend before Christmas!”

At the Romford Shopping Hall, sales and marketing manager Michelle Fitzgibbons, said Santa’s Grotto was much busier than last year.

She said: “A lot of our visitors heard about the grotto through Facebook and decided to visit, so social media has been very important to us.

“We are so thankful to all the parents who brought their children along to meet Father Christmas.

“Through them, we raised more than £1500 for the 2nd Romford Scout group.”

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