THE few bargain hunters who ventured into Kendal today found buying opportunities thin on the ground as key retailers decided not to bother opening.

Although shop chains often use New Year's Day to kick off their January sales, some of big names decided to keep their doors firmly shut in the town.

Beales department store and TK Maxx were perhaps the highest profile openers, while outlets whose doors remained firmly shut included Marks and Spencer, Next and Burton.

The Westmorland Shopping Centre and shops in Elephant Yard also remained closed, although on the edge of the town centre K Village was open to business.

One Kendal shop that found it worthwhile opening was Bensons for Beds.

Retail manager Paul Stockdale said: "We open on both Boxing Day and New Year's Day every year and this year found trade quite good on both days."