Boxing Day sales: Bargain hunters take to shops across the country to find best deals

December 26 is most popular day to shop during Christmas sales period

Wednesday 26 December 2018 12:40
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Shoppers look for Christmas gifts in Buchanan street, Glasgow
Shoppers look for Christmas gifts in Buchanan street, Glasgow

Bargain hunters have taken to the shops early to make the most of the Boxing day sales as prices are slashed by as much as 70 per cent.

December 26 is the most popular day to shop during the Christmas sales period as retailers offer huge discounts on products.

Shoppers queued outside stores around the country before first light, and people were pictured inside with armfuls of half price clothes, while more than half a million people are expected to descend on central London.

Boxing Day still remains a key shopping day – twice as much money was spent on Boxing Day than Black Friday last year – while the period between Christmas Day and New Year generated £12 billion in sales, according to ShopperTrak.

High street retailers have been battling higher costs, low consumer confidence as shoppers rein in spending amid Brexit uncertainty and people increasingly shop online rather than visit bricks-and-mortar stores.

John Lewis shoppers will not even have to wait until Boxing Day, with clearance having already started online at 5pm on Christmas Eve.

The sales will start in most shops on Thursday December 27 but its stores in the Trafford Centre, Heathrow and St Pancras are open on Boxing Day.

Argos will be starting its sale on Christmas Day online, as it did last year.

Debenhams is starting its sale online and in stores on Boxing Day and will continue with the deals until the New Year.

Tech giant Currys PC World is set to slash its prices, with last year's deals including bargains on laptops, TVs, washing machines and fridge freezers.

It has been a torrid year for retailers with notable high street names such as Poundworld and Maplin falling into administration, Marks & Spencer and Debenhams announcing plans to shut stores, while Superdry, Carpetright and Card Factory issued profit warnings.

Jace Tyrrell, chief executive at New West End Company, representing businesses in Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street, said: "Over half a million visitors expected in the West End today with £50m expected to go through the tills.

"Up to 70% off as retailers pull out all the stops to clear as much stock as possible before the critical year end and Q1 costs come through."

Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance, said: "A busy Christmas Eve is a handy bonus for retailers this year, as shoppers headed to the stores to find those last-minute stocking fillers and to substitute for presents bought online that failed to arrive in time.

"Of course, opening hours were curtailed last year as Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday, but the week-on-week results speak for themselves: Christmas Eve delivered strong growth this year.

"The surge in shoppers to stores seen over the final few days before Christmas will give some solace to those in the sector, when they sit down to enjoy their roast turkeys today, after such a torrid year."

Agencies contributed to this report

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