'Busy start' at Bluewater for Boxing Day sales

Image caption About 900,000 shoppers are expected at Bluewater between Boxing Day and New Year's Eve

One of the UK's largest shopping centres was expecting up to 120,000 shoppers for the Boxing Day sales.

The first bargain-hunters arrived at Bluewater in Kent at about 01:00 GMT in readiness for the Next sale, where discounts of up to 50% were on offer.

More than 2,000 had arrived by 06:00 when the retailer opened its doors.

Robert Goodman, general manager at Bluewater, said it was "certainly one of the busiest starts ever" to the post-Christmas sales.

He said by 07:00, more than 3,000 people had arrived at the shopping complex, near Dartford - a four-fold increase on last year.

"Traditionally, the majority of visitors on Boxing Day are families, who visit to treat themselves and make a day of it.

"Visitors often arrive early to have breakfast before starting their sale shopping," Mr Goodman added.

He described the post-Christmas period as "our busiest of all" with about 900,000 visitors expected between Boxing Day and New Year's Eve.

On Christmas Eve, footfall at Bluewater was up by 20% compared to the previous year.

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