Shoppers head to Romford for festive gifts and huge sales
- Credit: Archant
Retailers experienced a boost in shoppers in the run-up to Christmas and are hoping it will continue as sales begin.
Manager of Romford shopping centre The Brewery, Tom Stobbart, said: “Last week we had around an extra 30,000 people coming through our doors compared to the week before.
“School children were let out on the Friday lunch time so we saw a big increase particularly at our leisure and food outlets.
“There were much bigger numbers than a normal Friday because of parents coming in with their children.”
As well as schools breaking up for the holidays, shoppers heading to the high street as time ran out for online purchases had a positive effect.
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Manager of Romford’s Mercury Mall, Sarah DeCourcy Rolls, said: “The week before Christmas is usually the busiest shopping week for us because it’s too late for online deliveries.”
Retailers are expecting to see shoppers continue to spend their hard earned cash in the sales.
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Ms DeCourcy Rolls said: “Boxing Day is always busy but this year being a Friday we’ll probably see more shoppers on the Saturday.
“Although, as most people won’t be rushing back to work, some people will spread their shopping over the three days.”
According to Ms DeCourcy Rolls, the increase in shoppers seen in Romford is partly down to pre-Christmas discounts.
“The most positive thing about this year is that shoppers have been brought into the stores earlier with the introduction of things like Black Friday.
“It means there is less pressure on retail staff as well as the shoppers. It’s made it a much more pleasant experience all round,” she said.
However, not all retailers have benefitted.
Chairman of Havering Chamber of Commerce, Barry Hicks, said: “Some of the smaller retailers may have suffered due to Black Friday because they won’t have been able to compete with the bigger stores.
“I don’t think stores were prepared for the demand so it will be interesting to see what happens next