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Primark stores across the country have been besieged by panic buyers as England prepares to head into a second lockdown this coming Thursday.
Following the news yesterday that, from midnight on Thursday, all non-essential shops will be closed down again as part of a second nationwide lockdown aimed at reducing the R rate of Coronavirus, shoppers reacted with a similar hysteria to that seen in March for the first lockdown - with clothing giant Primark among those who saw winding queues snaking back from their entrances.
In the city of Norwich in Norfolk, there was a queue dozens deep before the Haymarket-based store had even opened its doors.
Images posted on Twitter that have since gone viral show a long queue snaking back from beyond the pedestrianised area in front of the shops and back towards the road.
One shopper told the Eastern Daily Press: "I want to get a head start on my Christmas shopping, I'm from Yarmouth so I won't get a chance to get back over to Norwich after the lockdown."
Another shopper said: "After the lockdown, the shops are going to be crazy busy when we come out, so I want to start today. We also might not even be out of lockdown in four weeks time."
Primark, like other stores, has been operating with strict Covid-safe measures in place which has reduced capacity in their stores. Last lockdown they opted not to introduce an online shop and, with no news on whether they will this time, coupled with the news of the impending lockdown, it's perhaps been no surprise to see such numbers attempting to visit them nationwide.
Down the road in Ipswich in Suffolk, there were similar scenes with images on the internet showing a large queue coming out of the Primark there and heading back down Westgate Street.
The town also saw large queues outside Smyths toy store in the region's Anglia Retail Park, while the Bury St Edmunds' Aldi was also busy even though it will remain open beyond Wednesday, reports the Ipswich Star.
It was a similar tale in Middlesbrough in the north east, with images circulating on social media catching queues winding around the area's Hill Street Shopping Centre as they waited to grab some pre-lockdown home wear.
Middlesbrough is currently in tier 2 in the UK government's current tier alert Covid system for England, but will join the rest of the country in national lockdown from Thursday.
A Twitter user, meanwhile, claimed that there was a 300 metre long queue outside Primark in Stockport, Greater Manchester. They posted: 'Queue for Primark about 300m in Stockport this morning. Fucking mental.'
Pictures have also emerged from the High Chelmer Shopping Centre in Chelmsford of similar scenes, with the indoor footways dominated by the queues outside the clothing store.
Like many other cities and towns, though, it's not just Chelmsford's Primark that has faced a busy day, with Essex Live reporting that the town's Hobbycraft is also straining under large queues - no doubt made up of those eager to make sure they've got everything sorted for their new lockdown hobby.
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