Shoppers head to city centre early to beat queues as non-essential retail shops reopen

Shoppers headed to the city centre this morning following the end of the second lockdown which means that non-essential retailers are allowed to reopen their doors.

Some keen customers were queuing their favourite shops before 8am – including Hanley’s The Potteries Centre, Primark and TKMaxx.

In Hanley, the majority of stores were open to the public by 9am today (December 2), with some opening earlier.

Members of the public who braved the December weather to queue said that they purposely arrived early in an attempt to beat the inevitable crowds.

“I wanted to make sure I got here early to beat the queues as I need to get some new clothes so I’ve been waiting for the shops to open up again,” said 30-year-old Victoria Bosaityte, from Hanley. “My favourites are TKMaxx and Primark so I’ll be visiting them.”

Queues outside the Potteries Centre.

Paul Adlington, from Biddulph, added: “I’ve come out today because it’s my day off from work.

“I know it’s going to be really busy so I’ve come out early to get why I need and then I’ll be straight home.”

That was the attitude of many shoppers, including Shirley Harvey, who says she always does her shopping early – and today was no exception.

“I’ve been really looking forward to the shops opening. I really like Dorothy Perkins so I’ve missed that,” said the Bucknall resident.

“We always come early so we can get home early so I’m glad I’ve done that today because I think it will get busy later.”

Bargain hunters, including Erica Fileni from Etruria, also headed to Primark, one of Hanley’s biggest stores.

“I hate online shopping so I’ve been waiting for shops to open so I can do my Christmas shopping in person,” said the 31-year-old. “I need to buy clothes and toys for the kids so I’m out here early.”

In The Potteries Centre, stores were open as normal with the exceptions of:

  • Carphone Warehouse
  • Millie’s Cookies
  • H Samuel
  • Virgin Holidays
  • Eurochange

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Debenhams was also open and welcoming customers following news yesterday that the big-name retailer is heading into liquidation.

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