Boxing Day sales draw crowds

Boxing Day: A Day Of Gifts And Holiday Shopping

Boxing Day: A Day Of Gifts And Holiday Shopping

Separate research by Barclaycard showed that nearly 70% of those who planned to shop in the Boxing Day sales said they would make the majority of purchases online - up a massive 42% since a year ago.

Gordon McKinnon, Intu's operations director, said: "Some stores have been running promotions or discounting before Christmas, but Boxing Day is when the clearance sales start in earnest".

In London, retailers reported a "Boxing Day bounce".

But last week, retail data firm Springboard predicted Boxing Day footfall would decline 5.2 per cent this year.

Berry said this week: "If local authorities want to bring people back [to high street stores], give shoppers free parking on the high street so retailers can compete with shopping centres".

Festive displays across the city centre have been swapped for huge signs promising hefty discounts.

However, Chris Daly, chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, said: "The quiet high streets across the country confirm that the days of setting the alarm to be first in line for the Boxing Day sales are long gone". He added: "Low footfall figures represent the final chapter in the tale of an exceptionally bleak year for traditional retail, when even high street giants considered "too big to fail" stumbled".

"I came out first thing this morning so that I would be able to buy my family a new Smart TV for about $500 cheaper", says Sharp.

Queues were seen outside Next shops, which opened at 6am, while Lush also attracted lines of shoppers.

"Most people come and know what they are going to buy, so they don't spend an bad lot of time browsing".

Some shops opened at 06:00 GMT, with queues of the keenest bargain-hunters having formed at 02:00. "Pretty much how it is for shopping on this day", said one shopper.

The number of shoppers visiting retailers on Boxing Day has fallen for the third year in a row as worries about the economy and the rise of internet shopping takes its toll on high streets.

Poundland and Maplin went into administration and Marks & Spencer and Debenhams announced plans to close stores.

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.

Jace Tyrrell, the chief executive of the New West End Company, said he expected sales for the eight-week festive shopping season as a whole to be slightly down on a year ago at £2.5bn.

"Despite some big names starting their sales online earlier, the queues show business models.of not reducing stock until after Christmas is still a proven success", he said.

"With this year's Black Friday being a bit of a damp squib, many could be forgiven for hoping that would have benefited post-Christmas sales, including Boxing Day".

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