COVID-19: Christmas shoppers flood main streets in return after lockdown | UK News

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Christmas shoppers have taken to the shopping streets of England for the first weekend since the lockdown was lifted and non-essential stores reopened.

Despite the difficulties of the pandemic, retail experts predicted that £ 1.5 billion would be spent in stores across the country on Saturday.

Taking advantage of the first non-working day to do their Christmas shopping, people flooded Regent Street and London city centers Manchester and York.

Customers visiting Westfield, East London and shops in the center Birmingham had to deal with hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters staging protests against other potential restrictions next year.

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Customers took advantage of price cuts at Debenhams, which is closing after falling into administration
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Crowds in shops in London. Photo: Karen Ellis

Several stores have continued their Black Friday sales in hopes of attracting more customers, with cuts of up to 80% at Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia stores, which went into administration this week risking 13,000 jobs.

Buyers have also been seen to take advantage of price cuts in Debenhams, which is expected to close at the expense of 12,000 jobs after failing to find a buyer.

Figures from the British Retail Consortium show that footfall on the High Street was up 150% when the lockdown was lifted in England on Wednesday – compared to the week before, when only essential stores were open.

Westfield shoppers in Stratford, east London, have also had to deal with locked out protesters
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Westfield shoppers in Stratford, east London, have also had to deal with locked out protesters

But the number of customers was still 26% lower than it was in 2019.

Despite the queues outside, an employee of the famous Hamleys toy store said this year was a ‘blip’ and that he hopes customer levels will return to normal in 2021.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan was on the streets of the West End, urging Londoners to visit shops safely
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London Mayor Sadiq Khan was on the streets of the West End on Saturday

London Mayor Sadiq Khan was showing his support for West End retailers.

Mr Khan told Sky News: “Our stores have had a really bad eight or nine months. This month is known as the golden month.

“I encourage people to shop safely and to shop in London.

“It is really important that we support our stores during these difficult times. These stores need us. If we don’t support them, don’t be surprised if some of them close. ”

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