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Shoppers bargain rush quashes recession blues

PUBLISHED: 14:56 30 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:45 16 August 2010

A RIDE TO THE BEST DEALS: Shoppers on the escalators at The Glades in Bromley during this week’s sales. Picture by ANDY BARNES

A RIDE TO THE BEST DEALS: Shoppers on the escalators at The Glades in Bromley during this week's sales. Picture by ANDY BARNES

TILLS have been chiming to the sound of shoppers who kicked the recession into touch to hunt for bargains. Shopping centres have

TILLS have been chiming to the sound of shoppers who kicked the recession into touch to hunt for bargains.

Shopping centres have seen a rush from visitors more like years gone by - going against the stark reality that Britain is the last Western country still in recession.

There were no parking spaces left at The Glades Shopping Centre, Bromley, last Sunday as people swooped on bargain deals being run by stores eager to bump up their figures.

Marketing manager of The Glades Maria Cooper said: "On Bank Holiday Monday the buzz in centre was like sales shopping of years past, with bags of bargains being carried by nearly every shopper, and it was clear that they were delighted with their purchases and had taken advantage of the offers available".

Sales shopping had been strong since Boxing Day when the centre was busy from opening at 9am and did not slow down until 5pm. All restaurants and cafes were full by 1.30pm.

Last Sunday serious sales shopping started with car parks at capacity throughout the day. Must have sale items included TV's from M&S, mobile phones and homewares, winter coats, cocktail dresses, cashmere cardigans with jumpers and winter boots were also popular sale items.

Boxing Day saw a surge in shoppers nationally, up one fifth on last year, credit card companies recording similar increases. Visa estimated that shops were taking £3 million a minute.

Traffic clogged up roads in Chislehurst and Beckenham as shoppers braved the rain on Tuesday to venture into town centres looking for bargains.

The sales boom is expected to continue before the VAT rate increases to 17.5 percent from January 1. It follows the busiest November in two years and predictions by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) that retailers would see an increase.

As well as the temporary reduced rate of VAT, low mortgage interest payments and moderate inflation are encouraging many Britons to part with their hard earned cash.

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