SHOPPERS have been splashing the cash in the New Year sales as independent traders slashed prices after Christmas.

The tills have been ringing out in Harwich and Manningtree as bargain hunters headed into town to take advantage discounted prices in the sales.

Traders claim they are defying the recession and customers are shopping locally.

Sarah Haygreen, manager of The Wholefood Store, in Manningtree, said: “The whole Christmas and New Year period t has been really good.

“The hampers have sold really well and we got through box after box of Brazil nuts and almonds."

Katrina Olive, who runs Home Grown Crafts in Dovercourt High Street, said: “We have had a brilliant year this year.

“We are clearing out the old products so we have a good January sale going on for this month.”