England

Plymouth's Drake Circus Christmas shopper numbers rise

Drake Circus shoppers - generic
Image caption Despite wintry weather, overall figures were up on the previous year

More than half a million people visited one of Devon's main shopping centres over the Christmas period.

Between 19 and 29 December, the busiest day at Drake Circus in Plymouth was Thursday 23, when 97,000 shoppers went through the centre.

Drake Circus manager Mike Jones said it was the most since the centre opened in October 2006.

Keen shoppers with their eyes on a bargain began queuing at 0130 GMT on Monday for the post Christmas sales.

VAT impact

Overall the number of shoppers rose by 2%, Mr Jones said.

In Exeter, there was a "similar number" of shoppers, although no official figures are available yet.

Shoppers have also been out in force looking for bargains in Truro and Torbay.

Many retailers said they were pinning their hopes on the sales being a success, with some concerned that trade could be affected by government cut backs, job losses and next week's VAT rise.

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