Huge queues at Ipswich Debenhams as shoppers flock to closing down sale
- Credit: Katy Sandalls
Scores of people queued to enter Ipswich Debenhams on Monday morning as the department store began huge closing down sales on the day lockdown was eased.
Queues began at the major retailer at around 8.40am, eventually stretching right around the building, along Lloyds Avenue and as far as the Club 3000 bingo hall.
Beatrix Brett and Jean James were the first in the Debenhams queue on the day that non-essential retail is allowed to reopen for the first time this year, under the government roadmap out of lockdown.
The pair said they were surprised to be the first to wait for the department store to open.
"We thought there is nobody about here," said Mrs Brett.
Despite being in the queue to see what was left, Mrs Brett said the store's closing was a very sad situation.
"I find it very sad that it's closing," said Mrs Brett.
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"It's been a large part of our lives.
Also in the queue were Sonya Smyth and Patrick Hynes, who had just finished working a night shift when he joined the mammoth queues.
"We are looking for a suit for a wedding," said Mr Hynes.
Mr Hynes said he is getting married in November and said they had planned the date to try and avoid any coronavirus disruption.
Not everyone was looking to buy new items in the queue.
Charis Ransome was among those looking to return goods.
"I've got to take some stuff back from Christmas," said Ms Ransome.
"I thought it would be busier."
However, she said that she was surprised to have seen shoppers running into other stores she had visited.
It took 10 minutes for the initial queue at Debenhams to subside, with further queues building as the morning went on.
Ipswich's Debenhams is understood to be one of the last of the brand's shops to close and may stay open until the middle of summer.