Thousands flock to JJB store

BARGAIN HUNTERS!. . . The queues inside the JJB store at Strand Road this morning. 0410JM02
BARGAIN HUNTERS!. . . The queues inside the JJB store at Strand Road this morning. 0410JM02

Approximately 100,000 people visited the administration hit JJB’s Strand Road sports store this week.

Legions of bargain hunters flocked to the store after news of JJB’s fate broke on Monday.

The ‘Journal’ understands the store has lifted takings in excess of £100,000 every day since Tuesday due to the increase in business. The ‘Journal’ also learned that stock from JJB stores as far as Dublin was transported to Derry this week in order to meet the demand.

A store insider said: “We’ve taken stock from Coleraine to Dublin, anywhere we could. It is mental. Some people have waited for over three hours just to pay for their goods. There must have been 100, 000 people through the doors this week. The girls on the till have worked so hard. Though the doors closed at 9pm on Monday the last customer was not served until 2.15am. Then when the store reopened on Monday, queues of people were already waiting on the shutter to be lifted at 8am. We don’t know when the sale will end, the staff are having to play it by ear.”

That proved the case every day. Parking spaces in and around Pennyburn were at a premium all week as the PSNI and ‘redcoat’ parking attendants patrolled the area.

Police had been called to the store on Monday evening when a 29-year-old man was cautioned for disorderly behaviour, however no arrests were made.

The Strand Road store has been taken over by high street competitor, Sports Direct, after ailing JJB entered administration. It is hoped that under TUPE legislation the employment of the store’s 25 employees will be safeguarded. The 10-15 staff at JJB’s Richmond Centre store in the city were not as fortunate as they face redundancy. There were unprecedented queues of between 300-400 people at the tills for large parts of the week. Countless more shoppers thronged the shop floor searching for bargins. 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. 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 out his six year-old twin boys. The apprentices were in the queue as he sought out bargains.

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.”

Check out our video from JJB here