Boxing Day bargain hunters were up early and out in force in South Shields, despite national figures suggesting that fewer Britons will go sales shopping this year than in the past.
Keen shoppers headed straight to Next, Debenhams and River Island, based at Waterloo Square, which had all opened early for the occasion.
River Island was open from 7am, Debenhams opened at 8am, while Next opened at 6am.
Mary Allon, from Brockley Whins, had come down to the shops early to pick up some bargains, including reduced cards and birthday presents for relatives.
She said she enjoys sale shopping and was pleased she had made the effort to come down to the sales.
“I came down about 11am and went straight to Asda first and then Next,” she said. “I love shopping and much prefer visiting the shops than online shipping, as you don’t get to walk about and meet people like you do if you visit the stores themselves.”
Julie Kennedy, from Westoe, also made her way down to see if she could snap up any bargains after Christmas.
She said: “I started shopping about 11am, it was just a spur of the moment thing to see what there was. “I went to Next first and got some reduced stuff for the house.”
Next remained a firm favourite with shoppers, with many leaving the store with bags full of reduced items.
Another shopper said: “Next always has a good sale.
“I just went there to get some reduced children’s clothes for the kids.” Another shopped added: “I also went to Next and got a few bargains including a couple of tops for work.”
According to Barclaycard, a quarter of Britons, 23%, were expected to shop in the Boxing Day sales, down from 32% last year.
The national figures suggest the incentive to buy in the sales has weakened following widespread discounting, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday, that continued well into December.
But post-Christmas shoppers are still predicted to go on a £3.85 billion bargain hunt on Boxing Day, spending £2.95 billion on the high street and another £900 million online, according to VoucherCodes.co.uk and the Centre for Retail Research.
Meanwhile in the capital, shoppers queued down the street at London department store Harrods, which opened its doors at 10am.
Butlers gave croissants, coffee and bacon sandwiches to those patiently waiting, and put on a dance show.
But the morning kicked off when the store opened, as punters rushed towards handbag displays for Gucci and Saint Laurent.