BARGAIN-HUNTERS have been out in droves and setting records for the number of visitors at a shopping centre in Milton Keynes.
Queues began to develop at 1am on Boxing Day at thecentre:mk when the Next sale saw more than 1,000 people gather outside for the 6am start to trading. The sales are continuing this week.
In a trading update issued today (Wednesday) the centre director at thcentre:mk, Robert Hall, said: “We are over the moon to see another hectic day at thecentre:mk, especially during this crucial time for retailers. It is fantastic to learn that footfall figures over the Christmas period as a whole are expected to set new records.
“Home furnishing departments have been of significant interest to our guests and average transactions have been up, with shoppers spending on big ticket items. House of Fraser at thecentre:mk has diverted stock from its Aylesbury store to keep up with the demand.”
Mr Hall hopes that 2012 will be a “promising year for thecentre:mk”. There are plans for a £30million extension to create two new substantial retail units.
There are more than 230 stores, cafes and restaurants at the centre, with the flagship stores being John Lewis, House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer and Next.
Compared with last year, when the number of visitors was affected by ice and snow, the number of Boxing Day visitors increased by 17 per cent. More than 750,000 people visited thecentre:mk in the week leading up to Christmas.
The centre:mk is forecasting that slashed prices in the sales will continue to tempt more bargain hunters to visit over the coming days, with footfall figures setting new records across the board.
The ice rink and ‘An Olde English Christmas’ attractions will remain open until January 2.