Thousands of shoppers bag a bargain at Fenwick's Leicester Mercury reader offer
Thousands of shoppers descended on Fenwick to take advantage of an exclusive Leicester Mercury festive offer last night.
Queues formed around the block ready for the doors to open at 5.30pm.
The excitement was palpable, with 20 per cent off every single item in the store – from perfumes and leather handbags to wrapping paper and kitchen appliances.
Judy Edwards, of Westcotes, Leicester, said: "I'm a knitting freak and, I'm sorry to say, am here to treat myself.
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"You find such high-quality knitting materials in Fenwick that you can't find anywhere else – and certainly not with 20 per cent off.
"You not only know what you buy is top quality, but the customer service is second to none.
"It's a wonderful atmosphere tonight and a mulled wine and mine pie will go down nicely too."
Tills were ringing throughout the night thanks to Mercury readers, who had to collect coupons in the paper to get their VIP invitation.
David Mitcheson, 55, and wife Shirley, from Rutland, knew exactly what they were after.
"We're buying a carpet and a few household furnishings and were here a few days back scoping the store out.
"Fenwick has that traditional department store feel, especially at Christmas, which is so rare now."
Last night's readers' evening was the perfect excuse for a mum-and- daughter shopping trip for Samantha Loke, 34, and mum Linda, 63, from Desford. "We're regulars here every year," said Samantha. "It's the start of Christmas for me."
Linda said: "I look forward to this night every year. I'm here for some toiletries."
Shoppers could take the weight off their feet and relax with mulled wine and mince pies in the store's Terrace Restaurant.
The annual Mercury offer has now been running at the department store for nine years.
Fenwick store director David Illingworth said the night was "exhilarating" – for staff as much as shoppers.
"There was a buzz in the store all day," he said.
"And we expect to see more than 3,500 shoppers come through the doors by the end of the night.
"It's absolutely lovely to see the store bustling with excited, happy people.
"It's one of my favourite nights of the year, without doubt, with everybody getting into the Christmas spirit. By the time you get home you're still on a high."
Leicester Mercury business development manager Matt Sibson said: "It's always such a popular night and the response from Mercury readers has been outstanding once again."
Don't forget – there are still a few places available for the second Mercury reader evening, from 5.30pm to 9.30pm on Thursday.
To make sure you don't miss out, simply cut out the two coupons from today's and yesterday's paper and fill in the entry form we are printing tomorrow.
Take all three to the Mercury News Shop inside Fenwick as soon as possible.
The remaining invitations for the shopping evening will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis.