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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Tuesday May 21, 2024
Tuesday May 21, 2024

Boxing day bargain frenzy: UK shoppers smash five-year sales record

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Brits brave the cold for unbeatable discounts as retailers rake in £4.7 billion in post-Christmas splurge

In a surprising turn of events, Boxing Day sales in the UK skyrocketed to a five-year high as eager shoppers flocked to city centre stores in pursuit of unbeatable discounts. Despite the winter chill, snaking queues were spotted outside major retailers, marking a shopping extravaganza not seen in half a decade.

Amidst the bustling scenes, retail experts at Barclays predicted that consumers were set to spend a staggering £253 per head on post-Christmas bargains, an increase of up to ten percent compared to the previous year. The total spending spree was estimated to reach £4.7 billion, proving that Brits were undeterred by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

The surge in foot traffic led to parking challenges for many, as shoppers lined up outside iconic stores such as Harrods in Knightsbridge, London, and Selfridges in the capital. Notably, despite some major retailers opting to keep their doors shut on Boxing Day, vast queues formed outside popular outlets in cities like London, Manchester, Newcastle, and Liverpool.

Early birds were spotted queuing as early as 4 am outside Selfridges, while other dedicated shoppers lined up at Harrods and Primark’s flagship stores in London. In Liverpool, the Lush cosmetics store witnessed an extensive queue, offering discounts of up to 50 percent on bath bombs.

Retailers rejoiced at the scenes of chaos, as research by Mastercard indicated a 3.5 percent increase in in-store spending across the festive period compared to the previous year. Despite a 2.8 percent dip in online spending, restaurant, clothing, and jewellery expenditures surged by 11.4 percent, eight percent, and 8.3 percent, respectively.

Jenni Matthew from MRI software attributed the decline in footfall on Christmas Eve to various factors, including the cost-of-living crisis. Despite this, total UK retail sales showed a resilient 2.6 percent year-on-year increase.

Natalia Lechmanova, senior economist at Europe for Mastercard, commented on the savvy spending habits of British consumers. The cautious return to the High Street was evident, with spend on restaurants witnessing a remarkable increase of over ten percent, reflecting the value placed on experiences post-pandemic.

Although online shopping continues to rise, Barclays predicts that over three-quarters of Brits will conduct the majority of their festive sales shopping online. Notably, nearly a fifth of shoppers were believed to have spent part of Christmas Day searching for online discounts as retailers launched early promotions.

Following a lackluster Black Friday, retailers have substantial winter stock to shift in the post-Christmas sales. Cyber Monday experienced a notable spike, with a 9.2 percent increase compared to the previous year.

Karen Johnson, head of retail at Barclays, emphasized the changing approach of retailers, spreading out discounts to boost ongoing demand rather than relying solely on Boxing Day. Shoppers also praised stores that remained closed on Boxing Day, allowing staff an extra day off.

As the January sales approach, retailers are gearing up for another wave of bargains, ensuring that the festive shopping season continues beyond Boxing Day.

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