SHOPPERS queued in their hundreds to make the most of a one night only sale at Beales in Bournemouth town centre.

The three-hour special promotion event provided many bargains for visitors to enjoy as focus shifts towards the Christmas period.

Beales bosses claimed the event was their “biggest ever” sale and people were out in force to make the most of the deals.

Ahead of the 6pm sale launch, the queue to enter the store in Old Christchurch Road snaked round all sides of the shop and into The Arcade.

Staff were on hand with trollies and baskets as shoppers filed into the department store. An efficient system ensured everyone in the queue was shopping within 15 minutes.

Isabella Bennett, who lives in Westbourne, said: “I think it is a wonderful idea and the staff were all very helpful.

“I came for these wonderful spice sets and a handbag as well. It was a great price.”

Christchurch resident Doreen Ellis, who came to the sale to get some new bedding, said: “There are some very good offers and we specifically needed some of the items that were available on some of the big deals.

“It is great to have this opportunity and it will also help the store at a difficult time for the high street.”

Offers in the sale included Radley handbags from £29, 50 per cent off everything in the Christmas and gifts department and 75 per cent off Fogarty duvets.

“I just wanted to see what was available, I didn’t really know what to expect.

Dan Lammin, from Bournemouth, was at the front of the queue after getting to the store before 5pm.

He said: “I had never been to something like this before and I thought I would see if there was anything that took my fancy.”

The sale, which was held in all of Beales’ department stores around the UK, followed a trial event on a smaller scale in the summer. In June, prices were slashed on a range of brands and designer items at 10 branches.

Tony Brown, who took control of Beales in a management buyout last month, said the trial had received a “phenomenal reaction” from customers.

Before the sale, he said: “It will be probably the biggest event we’ve ever had and the biggest investment in stock for an event to give customers genuine bargains – not bargains that have been manufactured, they are genuine reductions.”