Bumper takings on the way as busy Christmas shopping weekend predicted

Preston city centre at Christmas
Preston city centre at Christmas
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Preston's shops, bars and restaurants are gearing up for a bumper pre-Christmas weekend.

This is the last full weekend before Christmas Day – and entrepreneurs and business chiefs predict their tills will be jingling all weekend.

Today could well see the biggest spending of the year as customers scramble for last-minute gifts.

Mark Whittle, Preston Business Improvement District manager, said there was plenty to attract shoppers and revellers to the city centre.

He said: “Christmas is a very important time for retailers. Many businesses have already started their January sales in an attempt to grab some of the last minute rush to find that all important gift.

“This weekend the shops will be gearing up for what is traditionally one of their busiest periods.

“There will be plenty of Christmas cheer in the city centre with brass bands, carol singing Christmas crackers, tap dancing turkeys and a Winter Fairy helping to spread good cheer.”

Bosses at St George’s Shopping Centre meanwhile reminded shoppers of their Christmas hamper competition. They tweeted: “Shopping at St George’s tomorrow? Look out for a golden ticket on your car and win a luxury M&S hamper.”

A spokeswoman at Hogarths gin palace in Church Street said last night : “We are absolutely rammed. You can’t move.

“We were wondering whether this weekend or next would be the busy one – it might be both!”.

The city centre’s Christmas activities began with a free Christmas concert and lights switch on featuring Heather Small, The Real Thing and others.

The Christmas lights will shine until Friday January 6.