Boxing Day Sales: Record-Breaking Surge
Boxing Day sales records have been smashed after shoppers sent tills into meltdown across Britain.
Bargain-hunters queued overnight in preparation for stores opening this morning, with thousands pouring through the doors from as early as 6am.
Forecasters said more than £50m would have been taken on London West End's famous shopping destinations of Bond Street, Regent Street and Oxford Street at closing time.
Footfall was up 31.3% on Boxing Day last year in the West End, with sales fuelled by tourists eager to spend. The UK average footfall was up by 21.6%, the retailers' body said.
On Oxford Street, flagship store Selfridges reported its most successful first hour of trade ever, with £1.5 million rattling through the tills.
Sue West, Selfridges director of operations, said handbags and menswear were among the items flying off the shelves.
"Online sales have been great, but year-on-year people still want to experience the Boxing Day sales," she said.
Leading department store John Lewis announced a record start to its online sale which began on Christmas Eve with hourly orders up 70% on last year.
In its final pre-Christmas trading period John Lewis saw sales of £157.8m, up 26.5% on the same period last year and breaking the £150m barrier for the first time.
Andy Street, managing director of John Lewis, said: "To be announcing another record-breaking pre-Christmas week along with such a fantastic start to our online clearance is marvellous news."
At Birmingham's Bullring Shopping Centre, thousands were ready and waiting from 12.20am for the off with 350,000 passing through within the next 24 hours.
Manchester's Trafford Centre enjoyed its biggest Boxing Day sale in its history with police drafted in to help manage the crowds - 20,000 were at the out-of-town location by 8am.
The centre's Gordon McKinnon said: "Many retailers have kept stock levels much tighter this year, so the sales will not be stretching on into January."
Kent's Bluewater shopping centre saw about 120,000 visitors pass through its doors, with queues forming at 1am.
The British Retail Consortium had described high-street spending as "acceptable but not exceptional" this festive period, but the Boxing Day sales would add gloss to the figures.
Retailers slashed prices and began early-morning trading in a bid to entice shoppers and compete with online rivals offering weighty discounts.
A strike by London tube drivers about bank holiday pay does not seem to have had too much impact on the sales.
Extra buses were laid on for those travelling to the West End, as well as the Westfield shopping centres in Stratford, east London, and White City, west London, Transport for London said.
Jason Tyrrell from the New West End Company told Sky News: "We were prepared for this strike and had coaches for staff. The shoppers are out in force, but I hope both sides get round the table and sort it out."
Online retailers tried to stay one step ahead of the competition by offering heavy discounts on Christmas Day with Amazon's UK website seeing a 263% rise in sales over the last five years.
what do you think?
Wish I had the money to, but then again it's either the tat the shops are trying to get rid of or the items that have just cost an arm and a leg to buy put down at ridiculous low prices
WLU, lots of the sale stock is bought in specially i believe
Windows Live User
Do I need it? No then I will do without
Good comment, I agree!
And so do I.
Yeah me to mind.
Julie you are so quiet these days. Miss you! Hope you had a lovely christmas and seasons greetings to you, my dear. xxx
Some Queuing from 12 am sad people and sad lives .
A lot of clothes in some shops sales is tat because you never see it in the shop before the sale.
So last year lol
I agree Diane-brought in specially for the "sales" and a total con. A couple of pounds off this and that wouldn't break up my holiday as i like doing nothing at Christmas. I think that shop workers should be able to have the time off to spend with their families too - it's wrong of the public to want the shops open all the time
And they say there is no money about. Must be an awful lot of debt then
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Some people are so greedy, what are they like, the way they grab and push ect to get something of the shelves like there's know tomorrow, there is know need for it it's called greed.
I cannot understand why people would queue for hours to join a scrum in the hope of getting something not worth having at half the ridiculous price it once was!
Xmas is just a stealth tax and you people the unwashed masses settle for mediocrity
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Yes - but not to the sales! Scary, horrid beasts they are!
Yeah i didn't phrase that very well! I thought nobody had any money anyway?
I suppose the plastic's taking a beating!
Some strange people seem to like spending all their time in shops. Never understood this buy buy buy mentality. My christmas new year has always been spent lazing around!
Well im on nights last 1 tonight then 4 off until NY Eve! Though i did get Xmas night off. Who said working at an airport is glamourous?!
Not me. I'm too busy stuffing my face :)
Know way am going out to a sale just for a flipin hang bag or make up I can tell you mind, what have to q up from midnight, that's me bed time thank you very much! Right where's me mop.
Hi Andrea, its rest, relaxation and family time for me :)
Hear hear, good for you jasmine me darling, naw that's what Christmas is all about x
Good for you girls.i did not have to work today but my daughter had to work 8-30. To 5-30 sad people are sad
Give the shop workers proper holidays so they can relax with their families and get a well earned break. It's ridiculous that the sales start on boxing day and that silly folk want to spend the day shopping. In a very few years the shops will all be open on Xmas day and the sales will beigin then.
I agree Louisa. Let people spend it with their families instead of worshipping at the altar of consumerism. I also think airports should shut down also! A passenger asked me why was i working on Xmas Eve, erm, because you want to fly that's why!
Sounds like Hell to me. I'm like Jasmin Louise, still troughing! We had Maltesers for breakfast.
That's the spirit girl :) My new bike and gym membership can wait LOL
Wiring in to a tin of roses as i type girls! Yum!
Thorntons premium collection for me....They're all MINE, MINE, MINE :)
I used to work for a high street clothing store.....they put most of the regular stock away and buy in sale items so you think you are getting a bargain but are paying anything up to £5 more than they paid. Con
Judging by peoples bloated belly's and fat hands I hopeyou all enjoyed Xmas a make belive holiday celebrating lazyness
Not ne chick! I'm a fitnesss fanatic! A couple of days of turkey, fine wines and chocolate not going to spoil eh? Anyway I'm working New Year! :( I'll run it off! Lol
I agree with all comments! Stupidity, greed n more greed!
One thing online retailers do not have worry about is how their customers will get parked up. Exhorbitant car parking charges, through the roof council tax on high street retailers, mandatory time of work for new mothers and fathers, and this, that and the other will see the end of high street trading as we know it within five years, you watch!
Come off it Hollywood, i'm by no means religous but i get into the spirit of things! For kids sake if no other! Scrooge is alive and well...
I carnt stand and and watch this mediocrity festive period and peoples hypocrisy at Xmas its a false idol
yep , a bunch of sad people. most of this piece refers to london, as usual, so it's hardly surprising.
This shopping addiction is up there with drink and drugs but is condoned in society as it creates the only income this country knows at present.we made 3000 people redundant locally from a manufacturing company and build a retail park selling hyped up overpriced rubbish by a couple of hundred at most under educated youths on part time jobs with no chance of learning a career.This country has to change bigtime as we cannot sustain an ecconomy on cheap imported goods,whats worse is we are learning in the media these companys are avoiding paying proper taxes!
"Online sales have been great, but year-on-year people still want to experience the Boxing Day sales," Boxing Day sales which didn't exist until about 5-6 years ago. how long before Christmas becomes one continuous shop-fest, stuff the turkey and the family & let's just go join the consumerist retail frenzy?