As Seen At... The sales

The weather was freezing but the bargains were hot on New Year's Eve in the West End. Interviews by Melanie Rickey Photographs by Tanya McGahon
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The Independent Online
Consumer spending is at its highest since the mid-Eighties boom, and to prove it shoppers braved freezing weather and biting winds in search of sale bargains. Surprisingly, most of the shoppers we talked to were focused about what they wanted to buy, and with their desired item safely purchased they headed home.

Reid Donovan, 22, from Islington. `I have wanted this shirt from Ted Baker for ages. It was only pounds 42. Before the sale it was pounds 80; I'm wearing it to a party tonight. I could buy loads today, but I'd better get home before I go shopping mad'

Patience Jennings, 15, in London on holiday from Florida. `I saved pounds 10 yesterday on the French Connection trousers I'm wearing, and I just bought this plain black velvet button-up jacket from Oasis, it was pounds 29.99 from pounds 39.99. British shops are great, I think I'm gonna shop until I drop - if my mom lets me.'

Lekhar Khan, 15, from Bermondsey. `My Dad bought me this Yamaha keyboard. It was pounds 205 from pounds 289.99. I need it to study for my music GCSE. It's much better than the one I wanted'

Paul Crawley, 24, from north London. `I just bought this picture frame from Habitat; it was pounds 35 - I saved pounds 5. I'm a photographer and the frame is for one of my favourite pictures of BMX stunt-bikers. Luckily I'm on my lunch break, so I haven't got time to shop any more'

Nigel Springthorpe, 19, from Middlesbrough. `We're down for a New Year party, and to get some sale-shopping done. I just bought this shirt from Red or Dead for a tenner, it was pounds 50 - I certainly didn't want it until I saw the price. After tonight I'll probably only wear it on holiday'

Laura Roberts, 11, from Bellingham, out shopping with her mother, Elaine. `I needed a new coat, and we saw one from Debenhams just before Christmas. It was pounds 70 then, but we bought it just now for pounds 56. I'm wearing it home because it is so warm. We are not buying anything else'

Jennifer Burns, 21, from Glasgow. `I have bought a whole outfit to wear for tonight's rave; a belt from Osprey for pounds 10, a dress from Gap for pounds 5 - it was pounds 50 - and a pair of trousers from Gap for pounds 25 - they were pounds 60. I also bought an Oasis shirt from Selfridges for pounds 20 - it was pounds 40. I'm very happy with my purchases, and I can't wait to put them all on for Hogmanay'

David Evans, `forever young', from Soho. `I just bought three computer modems that I needed from a shop up on Tottenham Court Road. They were originally pounds 200 each, but I got all three for pounds 525. Not bad, I suppose. I'm now going for lunch in Heal's, and I will try not to look at the furniture bargains, or my credit card will explode'

From left, Carmella Nisil, `old enough', Esther Heisz, 64, and her daughter Dorit Raby, 38, all on a shopping holiday from Israel. Carmella: `I just bought a white blouse from C&A for my sister, it was pounds 16.99, I hope she likes it.' Esther: `I haven't bought anything, but can you take my picture?' Dorit: `I have just bought this hi-fi for my son, it was pounds 135, I saved pounds 80, but when we go home I can claim tax back at the airport and save even more. We are going to Habitat now for linen'

Around pounds 30