CHRISTMAS shoppers in Kirklees and Calderdale weren’t exactly singing in the rain this weekend as they splashed their way through the downpours.
On Saturday, traditionally the busiest shopping day before Christmas, the streets of Huddersfield and Brighouse were quieter than usual as people headed for cover.
Indoor shopping centres, such as Kingsgate in Huddersfield were bustling as shoppers did their best to escape a distinctly un-festive drenching.
The big out-of-town retail centres, including the White Rose at Leeds and Meadowhall in Sheffield, had the tills ringing loudly as shoppers made for the dry and warmth.
Meadowhall welcomed 120,000 shoppers yesterday while the White Rose Centre said all 5,000 of its parking spaces were full for much of the day.
Lisa Middleton, out in Huddersfield, said: “The weather’s awful but it’s not going to get any better before Christmas, so you have to get on with it.”
Another shopper, sheltering behind a brolly, groaned: “I wish I’d stayed at home.”
The roads in and around Huddersfield town centre were nose-to-tail in places but car parking spots could still be found.
Food shoppers found some respite from the rain in the supermarkets – but it was no fun at the check-outs.
There were queues just to get into the car parks at some supermarkets.
Sainsbury’s flagship store at Shore Head in Huddersfield had queues on to the main road.
One shopper said: “Everyone rushes around at this time of year, but the shops are only closed one day. Why do we all panic?”
The Brighouse Business Initiative, which is a group of businesses working to boost the town centre, said they had a busy Saturday adding: “The rain isn’t putting anyone off – hardy folk in Brighouse.”
Nationally consumers are predicted to have spent up to £5bn on Saturday and Sunday as many retailers opened their doors until 11pm in the last dash to Christmas.