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Sale fever heats up high street

PUBLISHED: 15:07 28 December 2001 | UPDATED: 15:22 03 March 2010

HEAVING streets, harassed sales assistants, heavily laden shoppers … it's sale season again and Suffolk's bargain hunters were showing no signs of tightening the purse strings for this year's traditional post Christmas retail blow out.

HEAVING streets, harassed sales assistants, heavily laden shoppers … it's sale season again and Suffolk's bargain hunters were showing no signs of tightening the purse strings for this year's traditional post Christmas retail blow out.

Despite the after shock expected after September 11 and the much publicised threat of recession, reports from stores across the county pointed to a bonanza year with shelves being swept clean of must-have discounted items.

Bennetts electrical suppliers on Martlesham Heath slashed the price of their 28ins colour TVs to £200 and sold out almost as soon as the store opened at 10am on Boxing Day.

"We are very, very busy," admitted branch manager Trevor Foster, describing how a sizeable queue of eager shoppers greeted staff as they returned to work from the Christmas break.

Enthusiastic Ipswich Gap assistant manager Ross Anderson described the atmosphere in the shop as "absolutely fabulous".

Men and womens' jumpers priced at a rock bottom £15.99 were disappearing almost as fast as the bargain £3.99 adult's T-shirts, he added.

Newly revamped Kingsbury furniture specialists based at Ransomes Way, in Ipswich, appear to have rebounded from the threat of closure that hung over the store a few years ago and reported steady sales throughout the day.

"It's going very well," said manager Arthur Jackson.

"We started (on Boxing Day) a little bit slow but I hope things will pick up."

A spokeswoman for high street giant Marks and Spencer said that the customers were responding well to the newly modernised stores in Felixstowe and Ipswich.

"People like what they see and are pleased with the reductions of up to 50 per cent on clothes and homeware," she said.

Roger Hewitt, of Underwood Hardware and DIY, based on Felixstowe's Hamilton Road, said that the town was filled with a "typical after Christmas good atmosphere" with plenty of people about.

Over in Stowmarket a sales assistant at Mackay's said she had been rushed off her feet since the store opened at 10am yesterday.

"Everybody seems to be in a good mood. I think we are possibly busier than we were last year," she added.

Barretts of Woodbridge store manager Paul Vale said that reductions on duvets, pillows, towels and sheets were pulling trade as well as great bargains on beds and Turkish rugs.


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