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Shoppers rise early to grab bargains



Boxing Day bargain hunters rose early to queue outside stores as the post-Christmas sales saw prices slashed by as much as 70%.

According to Barclaycard, 26 December is the most popular day to shop during the Christmas sales period, with three in 10 people planning to take advantage of the deals on offer.

Shoppers queued outside stores around the country before first light as stores swapped their festive window displays for huge signs promising hefty discounts.

Shoppers look for bargains in Selfridges department store during the Boxing Day sale
Shoppers look for bargains in Selfridges

People were pictured inside shops with armfuls of half price clothes, with more than half a million shoppers are expected to descend on central London.

Michael Ward, managing director of Harrods, said the store’s butlers served customers hot beverages as they queued outside the building before the sales began.

He told Sky News: “We’ve already got queues outside every aspect of the building – people have been here since seven o’clock.


Harrods chief: ‘Our butlers are serving tea’

“Our butlers are just out serving them with teas and coffees – so we’re going to have a very civilised but very good sale.”

He said consumers are attracted to the department store on Boxing Day because they offer the “exceptional” and “special”.

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.

Boxing Day bargain hunters queue outside a Lush store
Boxing Day bargain hunters queue outside a Lush store

“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.”

Boxing Day still remains a key shopping day, with twice as much money spent on this day last year than Black Friday.

The period between Christmas Day and New Year generated £12bn in sales, according to ShopperTrak.

Shoppers run into the store as the doors of Selfridges open
Shoppers run into Selfridges as the store opens its doors on Boxing Day

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

Online fashion retailer ASOS also issued a profit warning on the back of a “significant deterioration” in sales growth.

It is the latest big name to warn of the effects of weaker consumer confidence in the run-up to Brexit.

But its statement also signalled there were bargains to be had for price-savvy consumers.

While the sales will start in most shops on Thursday, John Lewis started its clearance on its website at 5pm on Christmas Eve. Argos also started its sale online on Christmas Day, as it did last 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.

Samsung TVs were reduced by £700 and the price of the Lenovo IdeaPad was slashed by £220.

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