MORE than 3,000 shoppers poured into Newport’s oldest department store as it began its clearance sale today.

Hundreds of shoppers queued outside the doors of Wildings and more than 3,000 entered its doors, according to managing director Peter James.

In May, Wildings department store which has traded in Newport since 1874, is having a £140,000 store refurbishment in a bid to invest rather than shut down. But before they can close, the store has to clear £380,000 worth of stock.

Mr James said: “It’s exceeded expectations. We are absolutely delighted and grateful for the support we have seen from our customers.

“There’s been a wonderful atmosphere. People are pleased it is a refurbishment sale not a closing down sale.”

Karen Tinsley from Newport was one of those queuing this morning. She said: “I got there about 9.50am. There was already about 100 people queuing.

Mrs Tinsley bought a half price pillow as well as home cooking ware.

“We did it floor by floor and by the time we got back down to the ground floor it was heaving.”

There are reductions of up to 70 per cent across all store departments and Mr James assured people that stock would be replenished from their warehouse on a daily basis.

Yesterday and today are private sales days for family and friends of those invited, but the store will be open to the general public from tomorrow and continue for three weeks.