Bargains galore as stores offload surplus stock
Friday 26 December 1997
Despite record amounts spent on gifts such as perfume, accessories and CDs, fashion and shoe retailers will be offering unprecedented bargains after they suffered disappointing levels of pre-Christmas business.
Ron Woodman, marketing director of the Metro Centre in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, said: "In fashion, there has probably not been a bigger sale with this level of price cuts. It is predominantly going to be a fashion- driven sale."
The Centre for Economic Business Research estimates that up to pounds 6.7bn could be spent in the non-food sector in the January sales, 9 per cent up on last year.
Retailers were hit hard before Christmas by mild weather of around 9C, which severely curtailed the appeal of winter clothes and footwear.
Chris Fear, marketing director of Lakeside shopping centre in Thurrock, Essex, said: "We expect 50 per cent off many fashion items. People have been holding off and waiting until the sales to buy. The money is there, so this coming Saturday the advice is: get out there early."
An example of the bargains available in footwear is a pair of Russell & Bromley knee-length velvet boots which have been reduced from pounds 225 to pounds 95. A pair of shoes which normally sells there for pounds 120 will be offered for pounds 29.
Prices for household goods have also been sharply cut. St George curtains which before Christmas cost pounds 119 at John Lewis will now be pounds 69. Similarly, china pottery is on sale at less than 65 per cent of full price.
Retailers have complained of sluggish sales, and stores such as House of Fraser began their January discounts last weekend. Sales are have been under way nation-wide at Laura Ashley, Warehouse, Dolcis and Ravel since before Christmas.
Out-of-town shopping centres have benefited at the expense of high streets. A record 130,000 customers a day spent an average of pounds 96 each at the Metro Centre, compared with pounds 63 last year.
Sale guide, pages 14 and 15
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
When teaching the meaning of Christmas backfires
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...