Financial News

  • 27 December 2013, 22:30

Sales: Shoppers Ready For More Bargain Hunting

Bargain-hungry shoppers are expected to spend nearly £3bn today on the second day of the post-Christmas sales.

The amount of money spent is predicted to be more than the estimated £2.7bn spent in shops and online on Boxing Day though bad weather is having an impact in some areas.

But while a devastating loss of trade over the crucial festive season could force some local shops out of business, many high streets unaffected by the storms are expected to see a repeat of some of the frenzied scenes witnessed on Thursday as shoppers queued for hours to get the best bargains.

A total of £2.22bn was projected to have been spent in stores on Thursday, up 5.7% on last year, according to the Centre for Retail Research (CRR).

Online shoppers spent £540m - a new daily record - on Boxing Day, up 15% on last year, IMRG, the internet retailers' association, said.

Total spending on Friday could be even higher, with shops expected to take £2.57bn - up more than 7% on last year's £2.4bn on December 27.

Online sales are expected to peak £400m.

Thousands of people hit British high streets yesterday for the traditional Boxing Day sales, with international tourists out in force and spending big.

Many keen bargain-hunters started queuing before dawn to ensure they were first in line when the shops opened.

Selfridges on Oxford Street in central London saw some of the largest queues.

As 3,500 shoppers surrounded the huge shopping emporium, it was apparent the queue was made up of people from all around the world - particularly from China.

The significant presence of international shoppers was confirmed by Global Blue tax-free shopping experts.

Shoppers from Qatar spend the most on average per transaction (£1,714) followed by those from the United Arab Emirates (£1,372).

But a spokesman said Chinese shoppers are the biggest spenders overall.

They spend £1,367 on average per transaction, but are more likely to return to the tills with more goods.

Selfridges celebrated its most successful ever first hour of trade, taking over £1.9m between 9am and 10am - up 16% compared with last year.

Harrods also kicked off its winter sale and offered mugs of hot chocolate, smoked salmon canapes and blankets to keep people warm in the queue.

Department store Liberty offered designer goods at a fraction of their usual price, while both Next and Marks & Spencer boasted discounts of up to 50% on sale items.

Bluewater in Kent predicted more than 800,000 people would come through its doors between Boxing Day and New Year's Eve.

More than 1.4 million shoppers are expected to spend a total of more than £50m in London's West End today.

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