Bargain-hunters queue from midnight for Boxing Day sales in Nottingham
SHOPPERS arrived in Nottingham as early as midnight to scoop the best bargains in the Boxing Day sales.
While most shops in the Victoria Centre opened at 8am yesterday, Next started letting people in from 6am for its sale which featured discounts of 50 per cent or more.
Queues stretched at least 100 metres from the centre's main entrance, down to the Oceana nightclub.
Imran Ali, 29, of Forest Fields, was the first one to arrive with his friends Zeeshan Nadeem, 23, of Radford, and Ehtiesham Shah, 21, of Papplewick.
"We got here at midnight and it was absolutely dead," he said.
"We have not been to bed. We kept warm by walking around and talking and we brought some hot drinks.
"The first people after us started to arrive at around 1am."
Mr Ali had saved a spot for his wife, Sitara, 27, who joined them at 6am.
The couple spent £250 in Next on items which would usually cost around £400.
"I've been looking forward to these sales more than anything else," Mrs Ali said.
"I started looking at things I might like a month ago.
"The deals on the fragrance gift sets were really good. We got some, which normally cost £16 to £18, for around £2."
Amber Perry, 23, of Arnold, arrived at the shopping centre at 6am to buy clothes for her children, aged four and ten weeks.
At 7.30am she said: "We've been freezing for one-and-a-half hours. I came to the sales last year also at 6am and just walked straight through the doors.
"I don't know if I'll do this again. There was a pregnant woman who collapsed just in front of us. I think they took her away in the ambulance."
Jo Wilkinson, 41, of Hucknall, arrived at 7am on the hunt for bargains at Next, but was still in the queue by 7.30am.
"I don't know what I want to get but I don't want to spend more than £50," she said.
Makhliyo Normatova, 33, of Dunkirk, who arrived in Nottingham less than a year ago from Tajikistan, said she had never seen anything like yesterday's sales.
"I didn't expect so many people to be here. There are hardly any buses, the taxis are more expensive and it starts really early," Mrs Normatova added.
"I couldn't believe how many people there were when we arrived at 7am."
The sales also attracted shoppers at Debenhams, off the Market Square.
John Probert, 48, of Wollaton, bought himself sports clothes after going along with his 22-year-old daughter, who was so horrified at the queue for Next that she decided to go to Debenhams instead.
"We arrived in town at 7.30am. I have never done the Boxing Day sales before and I will never do them again," Mr Probert said.