Crowds boost takings in the post-Christmas sales

Oxford Mail: BUSY: Shoppers at the sales in Cornmarket, Oxford Buy this photo BUSY: Shoppers at the sales in Cornmarket, Oxford

SHOPPERS are flocking to Oxford’s post-Christmas sales.

Roads have been clogged as tens of thousands descended on the city to grab a bargain.

Trainee teacher Tom Halford now lives in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, but said he comes back to his native Oxfordshire to shop.

Mr Halford, 24, who grew up in Barford St Michael, near Banbury, said: “I had a little bit more money this year, as I have just started a job.

Oxford Mail:

  • Tom Halford and Laura Martin in Cornmarket

“I did a lot of online shopping – it’s easier, and I don’t have a lot of time to go into town on weekends.

“I like going shopping in Oxford because the buildings are prettier and there is more space here.”

Jess Andrew, 18, from Burford, has just started a waitressing job at a hotel in Burford.

She said: “I have spent more this year on my family and myself.

“A lot of my friends are getting jobs at the moment as well.”

She said she preferred shopping on the High Street than online.

Oxford Mail:

  • Jess Andrew, pictured with Kieran Cook, says she prefers the High Street to shopping online

Owner of Daisies flower shop in Walton Street, Sheila Bailey, said the shop had one of its best Christmases for a while.

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She said: “Christmas went very well indeed, it exceeded our expectations and we were delighted to see a lot of customers coming through the doors as well as calling up and ordering.

“It was better than the previous few years but it was probably busier a little bit later, the timings were a bit different.

“Whether it is true or not that the recession is coming to an end I don’t know, but it was definitely a good year.”

Gordon Piggott, manager of McCarthy’s fruit and veg in the Covered Market, said: “We had a good busy Christmas. It was a little slow to get started this year but it was positive and people supported us. ”

Residential streets and main roads leading to Bicester shopping village were inundated with shoppers on Boxing Day, when an estimated 40,000 people descended on the outlet centre.

The centre laid on extra parking, extended opening hours and organised park and ride services from four sites in a bid to ease problems.

But shoppers clogged surrounding streets, prompting demands from residents for more measures to tackle the problem.

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