Brent cross closed on busiest Christmas shopping Saturday

THE blizzard shut Brent Cross shopping centre this Saturday causing frustration for many shoppers.

Traditionally the busiest weekend of the year the loss of nine hours of potential trade was a hard hit for the famous shopping centre.

The closure of the mall had also little positive impact on surrounding high streets as traffic around the centre and heavy snow fall across north London made travelling virtually impossible.

Neil Gilberg, owner of Gilberg menswear shop on Temple Fortune Parade, said: “When Brent Cross closed we closed too. It just became too dangerous with the snow. Finchley road was like a skating rink.

“It is normally the busiest weekend of the year.”

Keith Wynn, owner of Photocraft on Heath Street, said: “It could have made a difference if people were able to get here but from what I am hearing from my customers everyone was trapped in the traffic on the way out of Brent Cross.”

After closing at lunchtime on Saturday after what the Brent Cross described as a ‘once in a generation severe snowstorm’ a centre spokesman reported that shops had bounced back better than their high street counterparts - most had almost made up for the losses in trade by the end of Sunday afternoon.

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Four snow ploughs worked throughout the night on Saturday clearing all of the centre’s car parks and it re-opened to queues of shoppers at 11am on Sunday morning.

On Thursday the centre had reported that it was expecting to welcome more than 500,000 shoppers through its doors in the nine days leading up to December 25.