RETAILERS reported good trade as shoppers ventured into York city centre for the traditional Boxing Day sales.

While many shops decided to remain closed, including Fenwicks in Coppergate and smaller stores in Colliergate, Shambles and Goodramgate, most of those which opened reported a fairly busy day.

Bargain hunters were able to take advantage of sales offering anything up to 70 per cent off, and fashion store Next in Coney Street, had people queueing up at 6am.

Dawn Argyle, owner of luxury ice cream parlour, Licc, in Back Swinegate, decided to open for the first time on a Boxing Day.

“We have had a few regulars in but I’m finding business is coming in waves,” she said.

“We have big families who see we are open and they come in.”

Meanwhile in Coney Street, one of York’s main shopping streets, Sophie Craig, assistant manager at fashion store Yumi, said she “could not complain” at how busy the stiore had been.

Sophie said: “I thought Boxing Day would be a bit busier but it did start to back up at about 12.30pm.

“Our sale has been going pretty well. I can’t complain – we have been busy.” Some of the city centre’s larger and more established stores said it had been worth opening yesterday, and one called on other shops to “get on board on Boxing Day”.

Angela Horner, personnel director at department store Browns of York, said: “I’m surprised that a few more shops aren’t open in York.

“What we need is a few more shops to get on board on Boxing Day and show that York is open.

“I would thank the park and ride for putting on a free service – that’s brought people into the city centre rather than the out-of-town stores.

“It’s definitely been worthwhile for us to open.”

Shoppers out yesterday, however, said they preferred stores not to be too busy on Boxing day.

Ben Heugh, 24, who came to York from Bedale with his family said: “It’s worth the trip.

“I have got a couple of bargains and it’s nice that it’s not too busy.”

Jennifer Wood, 69, of Acomb, said: “It’s not as busy as I would have expected but it makes it very civilized.

“When shops like Marks & Spencer are busy, it can be a nightmare.”