NO sooner have the Christmas decorations been packed away for the year, but retailers are already stocking up on Easter chocolate.

Shoppers in Bolton may as well forget their January diets with the already extensive range of Easter confectionary available in supermarkets and high street stores.

Cadbury Creme Eggs and Mini Eggs are already on display in many retailers, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Wilkinson, and Boots.

But Marks and Spencer are ahead of the pack with their full range of Easter eggs and bunnies on display ready for the big day on Sunday, March 31.

But the early preparation has failed to impress Bolton’s shoppers.

Harry France, aged 64, from Doffcocker, said: “It is a bit much.

“Shops are still flogging off Christmas stock.

“It is just the trend of the holidays now. It is just one behind the other.”

John Haslam, aged 69, from Little Hulton, said: “Now that I have retired, Easter is just another day, apart from the religious side of it.

“The shops have just had Christmas with record sales, and now they want even more.”

But Thorntons in Market Street said they were hanging fire on Easter treats and focusing on Valentine’s Day confectionary.

Council staff started dismantling the Christmas “winter wonderland” in Victoria Square on Monday and the ice rink was being taken apart yesterday.