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A third of West Midlanders given unwanted presents

A third of people in the West Midlands receive unwanted Christmas presents, according to research from Triodos Bank.

Younger people were found to get the more expensive unwanted gifts Credit: PA

The study found 32% get at least one, with 7% saying at least two, and 3% of people said they get three or more.

The average cost of these unwanted gifts per person is £220, with 13% of those who said they were given an unwanted gift saying the value of it was more than £750!

West Midlands shuns Christmas traditions, says survey

These meals are becoming increasingly rare in the West Midlands Credit: PA

Many of the oldest Christmas traditions are falling by the wayside in the West Midlands according to a survey.

The Salvation Army says nearly half of people in the region will not eat a turkey for Christmas dinner.

These animals will be pleased to know they are becoming a less desirable centrepiece of the traditional Christmas meal Credit: PA

The survey also found:

  • 60% of residents in Coventry say they will not go to mass or church services over the festive period.
  • One in five people in Birmingham and the West Midlands feel Nativity Plays are falling out of fashion
  • 27% of people in Coventry believe sending Christmas cards is a disappearing tradition
  • More than a third of people believe Christmas is becoming too commercial

The Salvation Army says people in the region are spending most of their time shopping and wrapping presents as it provides the most Christmas wellbeing (according to 52% of people in Birmingham).

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High street retailers prepare for 'Black Friday'

Shoppers across the Midlands are expected to purchase thousands of bargains today as high street retailers slash their prices in the run up to Christmas.

Christmas shoppers in Birmingham Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

Today is dubbed 'Black Friday' which marks the first day of what is expected to be one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year.

Visa Europe predicts that £360,000 will be spent every minute.

Christmas experience temporarily closed after complaints

The experience was created by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen Credit: BPM Media (Midlands)

A Christmas experience created by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has been temporarily closed after hundreds of complaints from visitors.

Unhappy families who paid £22.50 per ticket took to social media to complain about The Magical Journey attraction, at the Belfry golf club, in Wishaw, Warwickshire.

Some claimed the experience was "far from magical", expressing their disappointment at the waiting time to see Santa and the toys handed out to children.

Following the complaints organisers have temporarily closed the attraction until Wednesday “for improvements” and offered refunds to people who have already visited and those who were due to go along on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.

The Magical Journey attraction in Warwickshire Credit: BPM Media (Midlands)

“Based on customer feedback we have taken the decision to take three full days closure today (23/11/14), tomorrow (24/11/14) and Tuesday (25/11/14) in order that we can implement changes and improvements to the experience.

Our customers are our priority for safety and a magical experience and we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

It is important that we deliver the high quality experience you are expecting and hope to reopen with improvements and changes having been made.

We have also had difficulty with torrential rain on site affecting the lighting and sound, we have people working to repair this damage.

All customers affected by these closures have been emailed and will be offered either a refund or a new date, based on their preference."

– Organisers post on Facebook

Nottingham shopping centres see strong sales period

The Broadmarsh and the Victoria shopping centres in Nottingham have experienced a high footfall of customers during the winter sales period, according to Adam Tamsett, from the Broadmarsh Centre.

The centres have seen four million people through the doors during the sales, with the most popular items being electronic goods and onesies.

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Hundreds of thousands of shoppers hit region's sales

Hundreds of thousands of bargain hunters have swarmed into shopping centres across the region today as the annual post-Christmas sales got into swing.

At Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester, bosses reported one of their most successful Christmas seasons on record, with 80,000 shoppers predicted to descend on the centre to bag a bargain.

That is up four per cent on last year.

Bargain-hunters browse the racks at Highcross in Leicester Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

Centre general manager Jo Tallack said they were on track for a 2.5 per cent sales growth for Boxing Day alone, as shoppers had been queuing since before 5am to be among the first to raid the racks.

Meanwhile in Birmingham, the Bullring was braced for an estimated 200,000 eager shoppers - with almost 2,000 already lining up outside the doors from half past midnight for the popular Next sale.

A further 150,000 people are expected to hit day two of the sales tomorrow.

One woman's haul at Highcross in Leicester Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

In Nottingham, more than 100,000 shoppers were expected to hit both the Victoria Centre and the Broadmarsh Centre on the hunt for cut-price clothing.

The Next sale was a major focal point again, with around 3,000 people queuing from 1am ahead of the 6am opening time.

A baby is all but lost in the pile of cut-price clothes at Highcross in Leicester Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

Shoppers piled high with Boxing Day sales bargains

Hoards of shoppers queued from the early hours to race through the doors of Leicester's Highcross Shopping Centre to bag a Boxing Day bargain.

As the sales began, hundreds of people armed themselves with plastic bags, trollies and buggies and raced through the doors when they opened at 6am.

Shoppers race through the doors at 6am in Leicester Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

One mother piled her baby's buggy so high with cut-price clothing from Next that her child could only just be seen through the mound.

A baby can just be seen buried beneath a mountain of clothes Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

And others appeared to simply grab as much as they could, walking off with armfuls and clear bin bags full of discount items.

Bags packed with Boxing Day bargains Credit: Joe Giddens/PA
This shopper piles his arms high with bargains Credit: Joe Giddens/PA
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