SHOPPERS looking to grab a bargain have flocked to Barnstaple, which has seen one of its busiest sale seasons yet.
There were even queues outside Next in Barnstaple High Street at 4.30am on Boxing Day as people tried to get the best stock early.
Deputy manager Dave Holton said it was the first time in his eight years with the company that the store reached capacity, meaning a one-in-one-out system had to be put in place.
“The queue started at about 4.30am and there were around 180 people waiting to come in when we opened,” he said. “Our capacity is 160 people so we used a one-in-one-out system until about 7.30am.”
Dave said this year had been better than previous years and the amount of stock being returned had also reduced.
Natasha Coddington, store manager at Banburys in the high street, said footfall has been a lot higher this year.
“We have also noticed there are a lot of visitors from out the area,” she said. “We are definitely up on last year in terms of sales.
“Everyone is definitely looking for a bargain.”
Shopper Mel McGillie, from Kilkhampton, said she had travelled over to Barnstaple because it was the nearest place to go sales shopping other than Exeter.
“I usually come the day after Boxing Day,” she said. “But there doesn’t seem to be much left.”
Sarah Ruddick, supervisor at The Edinburgh Woollen Mill in the high street, said the sales were much better than she was anticipating.
“There are some great bargains to be had in here,” she said. “What we find from customer feedback is the same people return year after year to our sales.
“For me as a shopper I think the sales in Barnstaple are amazing.”
Jodie Jenkins, from Bideford, said she picked up quite a few bargains on Boxing Day.
“I’ve had to hunt around a bit but some of the stuff in the sales is great, especially in Next,” she said.
And James Potter, from Barnstaple, said he managed to grab some cheap things in the sale outside of the town centre.
“The shops up at Roundswell have got a pretty good sale on,” he added.