More than 500 bargain hunters braved near freezing temperatures in readiness for the annual Boxing Day sale at Next at a shopping centre in Wrexham.
The queue began to snake around Eagles Meadow from 3am as sale addicts waited patiently for the doors to be thrown open just over three hours later.
First in the queue was Hayley Matthews of Hightown, Wrexham with Niomi Hibberd and her partner Matthew Moors, from Whitchurch, Shropshire.
Factory worker Hayley said: “I’m here just for clothes for my seven-year-old son. I’ll grab clothes of any sort and then decided what I want. Next are the best clothes for children you can’t beat the quality and you can get some fantastic bargains.
“I’ll be able to kit my son out for the year and save a fortune that’s why I’m prepared to come here in the middle of the night – it’s worth the effort.”
Niomi agreed adding: “We are here for clothes for my son who is two. It’s definitely worth coming early and being at the front of the queue. Anyway I have to work at 3pm. I work with people with learning difficulties. Hopefully I’ll get a few hours before I go in.
“I’d never met Hayley before but we are now good mates. It’s amazing what you get to talk about queuing in the cold most of the night!”
Teacher Rebecca Wilcox , from Ruabon, arrived at Eagles Meadow at 5:45am, later than she had planned, but still managed to get what she wanted.
Rebecca, who teaches at Penycae Community Primary School, said: “I just wanted clothes for my son, Bailey. It’s definitely worth it. I have saved a lot and got what I wanted without going overboard.”
Wrexham student Rachael McGarry, who is studying social work, queued from 4am so she could treat herself.
She said: “I just wanted pyjamas and Next clothes are just better quality. You can’t beat a comfy pair of jim-jams! I’m staying in Eagles Meadow for when the other shops open to see what other sale items I might be able to pick up.”
Health care worker Kirsty Rostron frin Corwen queued from 5am and emerged from Next just after 7am clutching six bags crammed full of bargains.
She said: “I spent £230 but it’s really worthwhile. I have made big savings and bought lots of clothes for my four-year-old son and my daughter who is just one. I’m really pleased to be honest.”
Queuing customers were served hot coffee, chocolate, teas and breakfast deals thanks to the staff of Greggs which opened up at 4am thanks to thoughtful staff.
Manager Nerys Jones said: “We decided to open early and keep those queuing warm with hot drinks and breakfast food.
“We weren’t asked to by Greggs we just thought as staff we would as the majority of the people in the queue are from Wrexham and we look after our own. It’s definitely been worthwhile and I think people appreciate the service.
“We know a lot of people in the queue so wanted to help. It’s not policy to open, Greggs is a fantastic company to work for and they would never ask us to open early it’s just a choice we made.”
Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley said: “We have some very happy shoppers – a lot of people have saved themselves hundreds of pounds so it really was worth the effort.
“But those who did not get up before the crack of dawn need not worry – there are plenty of bargains left.”