'Buzz' in the air at Boxing Day sales at Brent Cross, Hendon

This Is Local London: Crowds started building up in the morning Crowds started building up in the morning

Spirits were high as thousands queued outside shops in Brent Cross desperate to grab Boxing Day bargains.

Crowds started building up in the early hours of the morning and snaked around the Prince Charles Drive shopping centre’s shops for a post-Christmas splurge yesterday.

More than 300 people waited outside fashion retailers Zara, River Island and Hollister before their doors opened at 9am, and many did not leave until closing time at 9pm.

No fights broke out between bargain hungry shoppers - but a few “minor disputes” were calmed by staff members.

General manager Tom Nathan said: “There was a great atmosphere, a real buzz in the air. It was absolutely rammed but that didn’t stop people. It wasn’t too chaotic - only some minor disputes.

“The sales were crazy, but it’s hard to tell which shops were the most popular. New Look was blitzed, and there were queues outside Banana Republic, Hollister and Lacoste all day.

“People came in big groups - for some it was a leisure activity. It was nice because it shows the diversity in our community - there was a real mix of different cultures.”

He estimates more than a quarter of a million people will visit the Hendon shopping centre in total over the Christmas period.

Officials estimate the average calories burnt per person during yesterday’s shop was 668 calories - around eight mince pies.

More than 10,000 coffees were drunk and 3,000 burgers were consumed as people paused to refuel before continuing to shop.

And 19,800 metres of toilet roll were used - enough to cover 184 football pitches.

Mr Nathan added: “We shut at 9pm and a few people came later on in the day, when it was easier to shop and the atmosphere was less frenetic.”

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