• Thousands of bargain hunters line up from midnight ahead of Boxing Day sale

Thousands of bargain hunters line up from midnight ahead of Boxing Day sale

With millions lining up outside shopping centres across the UK from midnight, bargain hunters are enjoying a £4.75bn spending spree in today’s Boxing Day sale.
Retailers are slashing prices on clothing, homewares and appliances by up to 70 per cent in a bid to attract as many shoppers as possible in a tough year on the high street.
Total in-store and online spending is set to hit a record high for daily UK retail spending, figures from the Centre for Retail Research show.
Experts predict an estimated £3.71bn spent in stores and online will surpass last year’s record of £4.46bn.
Shoppers packed London’s Oxford Street for Boxing Day sales as many retailers slashed prices to lure shoppers back after a tough year on the high street
Thousands of bargain hunters line up around Silverlink retail park in North Tyneside
Many retailers are offering record bargains to save profits as experts say it is “encouraging” to see shoppers flocking to high street stores.
Thousands of people lined up from the early hours in shopping centres and retail parks, including Newcastle, Birmingham, Manchester and Cardiff.
Oxford Street was also packed, with shoppers flocking to the retail hotspot, with prices dropping by as much as 50 per cent in some stores.
The Harrods winter sale kicked off this morning and customers arrived at 7am, with long queues forming on all sides of the famous department store.
Analysts also said the record surge expected today was due to shoppers focusing on Boxing Day to pick up bargains, as well as a post-Christmas boom after fewer pre-Christmas shoppers.
Shoppers across the country were lining up outside stores before dawn, and people were photographed carrying piles of half-price clothes inside, as more than half a million people were expected to flock to central London.
A study by the VoucherCodes Retail Research Centre shows that spending today is expected to be nearly triple the £1.7bn on the panic Saturday before Christmas and 50% higher than the £2.95bn on Black Friday.
Retail revenue has plummeted this year – wiping around £17bn off the shares of Britain’s biggest stores – and more store closures are expected in 2019.
Professor Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research, said: “Boxing Day was the biggest spending day last year and it will be even bigger this year.
“The £3.7bn spend in stores and £1bn online will be so high because stores and customers have been saying that almost all shoppers will be focusing on the first day of sales to get the best deals.
Shoppers view shoes inside the Selfridges store on Oxford Street during the Boxing Day sale.Expected to be the highest-spending Boxing Day ever, with experts estimating a £4.75bn spending binge
Thurrock’s Lakeside Retail Park was packed with bargain hunters on the morning of today’s Boxing Day sale
“Research also shows that many shoppers spend all their money at once, unlike a few years ago when people would go to a sale multiple times in a week or two.
Anthony McGrath, a retail expert at the Fashion Retail Academy, said it was “encouraging” to see thousands of people flocking to the streets in the early hours.
He said: “While some of the big names started selling online earlier, the queues showcased the business model used by retailers such as Next, where stock is reduced until after Christmas, which is still a testament to success.
‘In an era of growing online sales, any move to get consumers off the couch and into the store has to be applauded.
“Shoppers are becoming more sensitive to their wallets, waiting until Boxing Day to buy designer clothes and luxury goods.
By 10.30am on Boxing Day, foot traffic in London’s West End was up 15 per cent on last year as shoppers flocked to the area for sales.
Jess Tyrrell, chief executive of the New West End Company, said: “In the West End, we’ve seen a rebound on Boxing Day with a 15 per cent increase in foot traffic this morning.
“The influx of international tourists has been driven by a weaker pound, while domestic shoppers are also looking for a day out after yesterday’s family celebrations.”
“We are on track to spend £50m today, with total spending rising to £2.5bn over the crucial Christmas trading period.
“It has been a highly competitive and challenging year for UK retail, with rising costs and squeezed margins.
“As the country’s largest private sector employer, we need the government to look beyond Brexit and support UK retail in 2019.”
According to ShopperTrak, Boxing Day remains a major shopping day – spending twice as much on Boxing Day as on Black Friday last year – with £12bn in sales between Christmas and New Years.
Retail intelligence specialist Springboard said average footfall in the UK by noon was 4.2% lower than at the same time on Boxing Day last year.
This is a slightly smaller drop than the 5.6% drop seen in 2016 and 2017, but a bigger drop than Boxing Day 2016, when foot traffic was 2.8% lower than in 2015.
It also said foot traffic from Boxing Day to noon was 10% lower than on Saturday, December 22, the peak trading day before Christmas this year, and 9.4% lower than Black Friday.
It’s been a tough year for retailers of well-known high street brands such as Poundworld and Maplin, with Marks & Spencer and Debenhams announcing plans to close stores, while Superdry, Carpetright and Card Factory issued profit warnings.
High street retailers have been battling higher costs and low consumer confidence as shoppers rein in spending amid Brexit uncertainty and people increasingly shopping online rather than visiting brick-and-mortar stores.
Around 2,500 people lined up outside Newcastle’s Silverlink retail campus at 6am for the Next store’s opening.
The clothing giant issued a total of 1,300 tickets, how many people the store can accommodate at one time, but when everyone went in, there were more than 1,000 people waiting to get in.
The next sale is one of the most anticipated events on Boxing Day, as the cost of many items has been reduced by up to 50%.
“Some people may think waiting five hours to open a store is extreme, but we don’t want all the best deals gone by the time we get in.”
Some were bracing for a long wait as they queued in Newcastle’s freezing temperatures, wrapped in blankets, warm hats and coats
Shoppers were also seen lining up outside the Next at Bullring Central shopping centre in Birmingham and Manchester Trafford Centre in the early hours of this morning.
Debenhams begins online and in stores today and will continue until the New Year.
However, the department store is already running massive sales even before Christmas, with up to 50% off designer womenswear, beauty and fragrances.
Tech giant Currys PC World will slash prices, with deals last year including specials on laptops, TVs, washing machines and fridge freezers.
Don Williams, UK retail partner at KPMG, said: “Since Black Friday hit the UK in 2013, the festive sales period has not been the same.
“Indeed, KPMG’s previous analysis did highlight that the November discount fest eroded the traditional Christmas shopping period, boosting sales and keeping retailers discounting longer.
“With Black Friday being a bit of a disappointment this year, many are forgiven for hoping that it will benefit post-Christmas sales, including Boxing Day.
‘ But, for the vast majority of people, that’s unlikely.Most will still struggle to convince shoppers, especially shoppers who are recouping their spending.
“But for retailers stocking up on must-have brands, there’s still a lot to play with at the final festive event.”
Bargainers have been lining up outside Next at the Bullring & Grand Central shopping centre in Birmingham city centre since midnight to see what bargains are on the Boxing Day sale

Post time: Mar-03-2022