Police were called to JJB’s Strand Road store on Monday evening and a 29-year-old man was cautioned for disorderly behaviour as crowds flocked to the sportswear chain’s closing down sale on Monday evening.
Pennyburn Pass and the Strand Road were again gridlocked on Tuesday morning as bargain hunters arrived in their droves to snap up 50% reductions on all stock.
The Strand Road store is being taken over by High street competitor, Sports Direct, after ailing JJB entered administration this week. It is hoped that under TUPE legislation the employment of the store’s 28 employees will be safeguarded. The 10-15 staff at JJB’s Richmond Centre store in the city were not as fortunate and look set to face redundancy.
There were unprecedented queues of between 300-400 people at the tills in the Strand Road superstore this morning and countless more thronged the shop floor searching for bargins. Some customers were happy to spend approximately two and a half hours in the queue, surpassing even the height of a Christmas rush.
As might be expected the Glasgow Celtic jerseys were among the first lines of stock to sell out. “But the Rangers gear is still all there,” quipped Darren Cassidy of Creggan.
Rows of people flipped through dwindling rows of trainers with boxes spilt on the floor. Mothers hugged top of the line footballs reduced to bargain bucket prices.
Fergal McSwine of Shantallow observed: “If they had done this once a year maybe they would have been OK.”
Kitchen installer, Danny Ginley, had shut up shop and brought his two apprentices to the store in order to kit his kids out. The apprentices were in the queue as he sought out stocking fillers.
One mother who was laden down with five shoe boxes told the ‘Journal’: “Christmas is just around the corner!”
Kevin Devine was loading a golf bag with sale items. The big-hearted Arsenal fan was even queuing for his friends who had to return to work. “I don’t mind, I’m getting two Arsenal jerseys for less than the regular price of one. I brought a budget and I’m going to spend it.”
The store stayed open until 11pm on Monday night and reopened at 8am on Tuesday, with some customers already queuing ahead of the doors opening. All available parking spaces in the vicinity were well and truly filled, with vehicles also overspilling onto side streets.