THOUSANDS of dedicated shoppers flocked to stores around Gwent today to grab some Boxing Day bargains, with one woman arriving at 1.20am to start queuing.

At Next, one of the most popular Boxing Day sales, a woman arrived at the Cwmbran store at 1.20am to begin queuing.

Speaking this afternoon, store manager, Darren Morgan, said: “I think that’s the earliest we’ve ever had.”

Mr Morgan said: “We opened at 6am. There were over 500 people in the queue.”

All items were half price and a lot of the stock had gone by the afternoon. Mr Morgan believed it was as busy as last year.

He said: “A lot of the children’s wear has gone. That just flies off the shelves.”

Sisters, Anisa Batool and Roxanne Munir from Newport, left their homes at 5.30am to get to the Next sale.

“I spent £262 in Next. I got lots of clothes for the children. I wasn’t looking for anything specific,” said Ms Munir.

“We do it every year.”

Elsewhere in Cwmbran, numerous shops in the shopping centre like Clarks, JD Sports and Matalan were offering half price sales.

Val Wright, of Cwmbran, was Boxing Day shopping for the first time.

“The reductions are fantastic,” she said.

Many of the shops, including House of Fraser, had customers queuing at the doors before they opened. River Island, which opened at 7am, had almost sold out of handbags by the afternoon.

Emma Gable, from Abergavenny was out with her family.

“I had a brilliant bargain,” she said. “A £100.00 coat down to £60.”

The family have hit the Boxing Day sales for the last couple of years.

She said: “We’re just topping up on stuff for the house.”

Newport Retail Park in Spytty was also incredibly busy for much of Boxing Day with some shoppers having to wait up to half an hour for a parking space.