24 November 2020

Sunderland's the Bridges is giving retailers and shoppers a much-needed boost, with plans for extended opening hours until Christmas.

And the aim is not only to give shops the chance to make up for lost sales during the November lockdown but also to allow shoppers longer hours to buy – making it easier to stay socially distanced.

With the news that lockdown will end on 2 December and non-essential retail can resume, the Bridges has amended its trading hours.

From Thursday 3 December retailers will be open until 7pm Monday to Saturday, with late night shopping until 8pm resumed on Thursday evenings.

Karen Eve, Centre Director at the Bridges, said the decision followed on from consultation with both customers and retailers.

“It’s clear that customers still want to shop for Christmas,” she said.

“They want to experience the buzz of being out browsing for those special gifts, they want to see beautiful decorations, hear festive music and plan for a happy Christmas break.

“Extending the opening hours will help retailers make up for missed sales but will also mean that shoppers can plan their shopping trips and avoid the busiest time of the day.

“Safety is still very much a high priority at the Bridges and we hope that this move will ensure everyone can still enjoy the shopping experience but in a socially distanced way.”                                                                                          

The majority of shops in the centre are supporting the late night trading initiative, including Primark, Boots, Next, The Entertainer, The Perfume Shop, The Fragrance Shop, Pandora, Hotel Chocolate, Swarovski, New Look and Starbucks.

“We want to remind everyone of how important it is to shop local this year and encourage them to support the high street.

“The Government’s decision to reopen retail will help preserve jobs, protect the economy and give us a much needed boost so that everyone can enjoy Christmas,” said Karen.

“It’s still important that everyone abides by the social distancing rules but we’re hoping that’s not going to stop people finally being able to enter in the spirit of Christmas.”