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Jingle tills: Dundee’s last-minute Christmas shopping frenzy through the decades

Mad dash! Shoppers leaving it late for Christmas shopping in Dundee in 2007.
Mad dash! Shoppers leaving it late for Christmas shopping in Dundee in 2007.

Stores across Dundee are hoping to hear the sound of jingle tills as people ramp up their Christmas shopping.

Right now – the week leading up to the BIG day – has always been the time of year when panic kicks in and people go wild in the aisles.

Now is the time to splurge on presents for loved ones, whether online or during a trip out to the shops on foot.

Covid may have lessened the appeal of encountering hordes of shoppers, grappling for gifts, but we’re pretty sure loads of people are doing it anyway!

Join us as we delve deep into our photo archives for the shopping frenzies of Christmas past.


  1. Christmas shoppers flock to the Wellgate Centre in 1986 to snap up goodies for their friends and families.

2. The hordes were out in force on the Murraygate a few days before Christmas in 1979.

3. Three year old Jade Nicolson enjoyed the city centre snow while out shopping with her mother in 1995. Jade was hoping the snow would still be around on Christmas Day.

4. Crowds of shoppers passed by – and popped into – jeweller H. Samuel in the city centre in 1972. Plenty of shiny, sparkly stuff to choose from, folks!

5. Who doesn’t love a nice perfume or aftershave in their stocking? These people checked out the fragrance counter of Arnotts in 1990.

6. A glorious Christmas tree, festooned with gold tinsel and colourful baubles, took pride of place in the Keiller Centre in 1993.

7. Shoppers browsed the cosmetics, jewellery and bag department of Debenhams in 1984. There was so much to catch their eyes!

8. The Wellgate Centre and the Murraygate were awash with Christmas shoppers in the run-up to the big day in 1983.

9. The Murraygate was the hub of the festive action in 1979.

10. This busy scene in Dundee reflects the combination of Christmas shopping and a bid to beat the “mini-budget” in 1976.

11. It all got a bit bling in Arnotts in 1990! Check out the gold blouse worn by the model!

12.  The Christmas window of the a cancer charity shop in the Highgate Shopping Centre in Lochee looked pretty in 1998.

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