Patient shoppers were left fuming after queuing all night outside a Range store in the hope of snagging a £2,000 goodie bag, only to be given freebies worth £10.
Avid bargain-hunters queued for 10 hours outside the chain’s newest store in Bury hoping to get their hands on a huge stash of free goods.
The chain had promised £2,000 goodie bags for the first 200 shoppers through the doors of its new store – its 200th in the UK – on Friday.
But the £2,000 figure was actually the total prize giveaway. It meant that shoppers received a small handful of freebies.
Shoppers, some who queued from 11pm the previous day in the hope of a bumper goodie bag, were left fuming at the chain.
But others reacted with bemusement at shoppers who went, with one person saying: ‘As if The Range would give away £400,000.’
The chain had promised £2,000 goodie bags for the first 200 shoppers through the doors of its new store – its 200th in the UK – on Friday. But the £2,000 figure was actually the total prize giveaway. It meant that shoppers received a small handful of freebies (pictured)
Christmas shoppers are warned to be vigilant in crowded areas as UK terror threat level is raised to severe
A senior Metropolitan Police officer has warned Londoners and visitors to the capital to ‘be alert, not alarmed’ in crowded spaces in the lead-up to Christmas.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Specialist Operations Matt Twist urged people to be ‘vigilant’ and look out for anything that is unusual, suspicious or concerning.
The warning comes after the UK’s terrorism threat was increased to ‘severe’, meaning an attack is ‘highly likely’, after terrorists struck in Liverpool and Essex.
Assistant Commissioner Twist described this year’s festivities as ‘the first proper Christmas we have had in a couple of years’ because of last year’s coronavirus restrictions.
He said: ‘There are going to be lots of places that are busy. There are going to be lots of venues getting back on their feet, lots of crowded places, lots of gatherings.
‘This is all around being alert, not alarmed.’
Assistant Commissioner Twist also referred to the car crash at a Christmas parade in Wisconsin which killed at least five people as he emphasised the importance of forward planning from authorities ahead of the busy time of year.
He told Nick Ferrari on LBC radio: ‘This is about vigilance. There’s a lot of work that’s done in advance of gatherings and in advance of events in the UK.
‘We ask our security officers to put in place things like vehicle mitigation or to put in place barriers, or to limit the risks to people.’
He added that the incident in Wisconsin does not appear to have been terror-related based on early media reports.
Urging the public to report anything suspicious to police in the build-up to Christmas, he added: ‘We want people to be vigilant, looking out for what’s unusual, looking out for things that may be suspicious, may concern them.
‘That can be anything from a bag that’s in the wrong place – I think the public are well aware of that sort of thing – but also to stuff in their home or family lives, their friends becoming withdrawn or isolated, or making concerning comments.
‘It’s all around getting ahead of this. If you report something, the message is: You’re not going to ruin someone’s life, but you might just save one.’
Avid bargain-hunters were seen queuing up with camping chairs and blankets from 11pm on Thursday night, ahead of the opening of the new Range store, at the Rock shopping centre, at 9am on Friday.
In its advertising for the grand opening, The Range promised the first 200 customers in line would receive ‘a gift bag with prizes worth over £2,000 to celebrate the 200th store’.
However, this offer seems to have created some confusion, with shoppers who queued to get their gifts saying some were worth no more than £10.
The Range has since explained that the ‘total value of prizes and gift cards given away to the first 200 customers was £2,000’.
A spokesperson for the popular brand said there were a lot of happy customers at the opening of the new store, and that the first three people in line won special prizes including £100 vouchers, a hot tub, a kayak and a paddle board.
But, others who had waited through the night for the doors to open were less pleased.
One shopper, Emma Louise, who queued from 5am for the opening, said: ‘We were promised a £2,000 grand prize I got there at 5:00am with good faith that I was going to win.
‘Waited four hours, spent so much money on hot drinks to stay warm. Finally, I received my bag, it had a pack of pencils inside, a bath bubble, a moisturiser, a bag of chocolates and gift card.
‘When I spoke to the woman I asked her how much was on it and got told it would be between £250 and £500.
‘Went to the till and the women said I had won ‘5’. I said ‘what £500?’ she goes no ‘£5’!
‘I was so upset not only did I waste my time, I wasted my money on £30 taxi to get down and £12 on hot drinks to stay warm. Feel very let down.’
Another shopper added: ‘In the bag there was a bottle of bubble bath, body lotion, a trolley coin, bag of chocolate, out of date edible cake decorations, packet of pencils, cup cake cases, Minky cleaning pad, and a gift card which we had to take to a till to find out the value, we and everybody around us had a fiver in it.
‘It was obvious they had worded the press release in a way to make it look like it was worth queuing for so they had nice pictures.
‘I was there for 6am but there were one or two people who had been out all night. I just hope they got one of the decent prizes promised!’
A spokesperson for The Range, which replaced the new defunct Debenhams in a prime position at the Rock, said over 400 shoppers queued for the grand opening.
The new store – the 200th Range branch in the UK – is spread over three floors and 65,000 sqft, including an in-house Iceland and Iceland cafe.
A statement released by the brand following the opening said: ‘Three excited shoppers who had stayed outside of the store overnight bagged themselves a goody bag with a £100 gift card to spend in store and amazing spot prizes.
Avid bargain-hunters were seen queuing up with camping chairs and blankets from 11pm on Thursday night, ahead of the opening of the new Range store, at the Rock shopping centre, at 9am on Friday
‘First through the doors was 49-year-old Claire Chapman who received a Lay-Z Spa hot tub. Ryan Wright, 26, who was second in the queue, received Kayak and sail, while the third person in the queue, 34-year-old Tracey Kerr, received a stand-up paddle board.
‘All of the first 200 shoppers through the doors received a goody bag which contained gift cards ranging from £5-£100 and spot prizes which included love to shop vouchers, drill sets, door mats, art deco bin, electric heater and lots more household goodies.
‘The total value of prizes and gift cards given away to the first 200 customers was £2,000.’
While some were left fuming, others were bemused that customers thought they would get a £2,000 goodie bag.
Kirsty Smith posted on social media: ‘As if the range would give away £400,000 on 200 customers that most likely wont spend anything in store!
‘They’d be bankrupt before they’ve started. As if you’d think you would get £2,000 each!
‘They didn’t ask them to camp over night.’
Another, Vicky Payne, posted:’What absolute muppets! Nobody would give away £2000 each to 200 customers.
‘I am pleased for the people that got a kayak and a paddle board… but I can’t help thinking they are as useful as the Bullseye speedboat in Bury!’