Shoppers out in force for Christmas discounts

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Big discounts being offered by retailers tempted Christmas shoppers out in huge numbers in high streets and shopping centres across the UK yesterday for the penultimate Saturday before Christmas.

Braehead shopping centre, in Glasgow, was in “full swing”, according to its general manager, Peter Beagley. Selected shops will be open until midnight from tomorrow to Christmas Eve.

Beagley said: “Christmas shopping is now well and truly in full swing. Braehead as a centre and the individual retailers are doing very well and it looks like Santa will have trouble getting his sack down the chimney if the amount of presents being bought at Braehead this year is anything to go by.”

Union Square shopping centre in Aberdeen recorded a 7.8 per cent increase in the number of shoppers on Friday, compared with the same day last year. General manager Ryan Manson said: “We have seen shoppers out in force picking up items from Christmas party gear and winter essentials such as hand warmers, while bottles of perfume and ladies’ Ugg boots have been flying off the shelves to go under Christmas trees this year.”

Shoppers were also out in force in London where some of the most famous stores were cutting prices by up to 50 per cent. Jace Tyrrell, from the New West End Company, representing 600 businesses, said: “There are discounts on selected items of up to 50 per cent, including 40 per cent at House of Fraser, and 30 per cent at Debenhams.”

Bluewater in Kent, one of the largest shopping centres in Europe, said it expected 230-240,000 visitors this weekend, an increase on last year.