Boxing Day sales begin... on Christmas Eve

 

The traditional Boxing Day sales have been brought forward to Christmas Eve as dozens of retailers seek to out-do each other and win customers' hard-earned cash.

Last-minute bargain hunters will be able to cash in on internet sales from noon as online retailers slash their prices earlier than usual.

The Marks & Spencer online sale sale begins at noon today, with John Lewis following suit at 5pm and Currys/PC World at 7pm, the Daily Mail said.

Online giant Amazon will start is sale on Christmas morning, a day earlier than usual.

High street retailers were hampered yesterday as Sunday trading laws restricted them to opening for just six hours.

Supermarkets, shopping centres and high streets up and down the country were crammed with people on the last few trading days before Christmas.

Sainsbury's reported its busiest ever hour in terms of customers served from midday to 1pm yesterday, while 35 branches opened at midnight and will trade until 6pm today.

One million visitors were expected in London's West End during the three-day period from Saturday to today, during which over £100 million was expected to be spent.

Some 400,000 men are predicted to flock to the area today in a rush to grab last minute presents for their families and loved ones.

The British Retail Consortium predicted there will have been £5 billion of retail spending over the weekend.

Richard Dodd, head of media and campaigns, said: "People have left it very late this year because of their reluctance to spend - they are holding out for bargains - and we've had a final weekend just before Christmas.

"It's been a very busy weekend which will be crucial to delivering a Christmas that is acceptable, rather than exceptional."

Supermarket giant Sainsbury's expected to sell 225,000 bottles of champagne at the weekend, as well as 56 million mince pies, 52 million sprouts, half a million kilograms of Christmas cheese and 6,500 tonnes of potatoes over the festive period.

Saturday was expected to have been the busiest day of the year on the high street, with credit card company Visa Europe predicting almost 32 million transactions, with £1.26 billion of spending on Visa cards alone.

A spokeswoman for John Lewis said the retailer experienced a busy weekend, which followed "a great last two weeks".

At Brent Cross shopping centre in north London, bosses said sales were likely to be bigger than ever before.

Centre manager Tom Nathan said the weekend would be their busiest period because schools had broken up late and Christmas Day was on a Tuesday.

Bluewater shopping centre in Kent said Saturday was its busiest day of the year, and expected more than 275,000 shoppers through the doors over the weekend.

Elsewhere, Birmingham's Bullring centre welcomed the hordes and said 340,000 people were expected to visit its stores before Christmas Eve.

General manager Tim Walley said: "This Christmas we essentially have an extra weekend of trading in comparison to December 2011, so we're expecting a bumper weekend."

But the Local Government Association (LGA) said confidence on the high street remained low.

Its annual Christmas survey found that 84% of town centre managers said confidence among shoppers had either not improved or worsened compared with this time last year.

The LGA suggested that the particularly cold and wet start to the winter could also be taking its toll on the number of shoppers visiting town centres.

PA

News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
people

Sport
nflAtlanta Falcons can't count and don't know what the UK looks like
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg
music

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

News
The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Telecoms Engineer - Telecoms Admin - £35,000 - 5 month FTC

£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 5 month Fixed Term Contract - Telecommunicati...

Norwegian Speaking Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 per annum + competitive OTE: SThree: Progressive in Manchester is seeki...

IT Systems Business Analyst - Watford - £28k + bonus + benefits

£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...

Telecoms Engineer - Telecoms Administrator - London - £26,000

£26000 per annum + 25 days holiday & further benefits: Ashdown Group: Telecomm...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London