Boxing Day sales: Record numbers of shops open and up to 80% off in push to grab shoppers

December 26th, 201111:52 am @

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  • Over 700 people queue at 6.30am to snap up bargains at Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, east London
  • Hundreds of shoppers also flood to Oxford Street, London, before 7am

By
Sean Poulter

Last updated at 11:36 AM on 26th December 2011

Shoppers have been racing through the doors as they try to snatch up armfuls of bargains in the Boxing Day sales.

Across the country customers have been ransacking the rails as they seek out the slashed prices.

Staff at Selfridges in London were greeted by excitable consumers who burst through the door and raced up the elevators, eager to claim reduced-price designer goods.

A record number of stores are open today promising to slash prices by up to 80 per cent in what is a bloody battle for survival.

It's mine! Shoppers crowd at the tills in Selfridges, on Oxford Street, central London, as the department store opens its doors for the Boxing Day sale

It’s mine! Shoppers crowd at the tills in Selfridges, on Oxford Street, central London, as the department store opens its doors for the Boxing Day sale

Shoppers rush into Selfridges, on Oxford Street, central London, as the department store opens its doors for the Boxing Day sale

Shoppers rush into Selfridges, on Oxford Street, central London, as the department store opens its doors for the Boxing Day sale

Let us in! These desperate shoppers burst through the doors of the department store to snap up bargains

Every shopper for themselves! The shoppers swarmed Selfridges and dashed to the shelves to spend their money

Every shopper for themselves! The shoppers swarmed Selfridges and dashed to the shelves to spend their money

Marks Spencer opened 98 of its
larger stores for the first time while Next opened more than 400 outlets
to eager shoppers from 6am.

Over 700 people queued at 6.30am this morning at the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, east London.

The Sun reported that consumers will spend £22.8billion by the third week of January – £338million more than last year.

Shoppers snaked around the corners of shops in London’s busy Oxford
Street, with queues of 200 people impatiently waiting
outside clothes store Zara.

Boxing Day blur: The shoppers crammed themselves in as businesses slashed their prices

Boxing Day blur: The shoppers crammed themselves in as businesses slashed their prices

Sales rush: Shoppers flood into the Next store at the Silverlink Retail Patrk, North Tyneside at 6am this morning as the doors open

Sales rush: Shoppers flood into the Next store at the Silverlink Retail Patrk, North Tyneside at 6am this morning as the doors open

where to find the best bargains

Despite tube drivers striking in the capital, bargain hunters are determined to seek out goods that have been slashed in price.

An estimated 5.6 million drivers will take to the roads in search of a bargain, according to Green Flag breakdown.

All the major supermarkets are also opening more outlets today as December 26 becomes more like a normal shopping day than ever before.

Even Tesco’s online grocery shopping and
delivery service is back up and running today, despite the fact that the
nation will have stocked up on food before Christmas.

At Cabot Circus shopping centre in Bristol, some shoppers had queued from 5am in the hunt for a bargain.

Early rush: A huge queue of shoppers builds up as Next prepare to open their doors at 6am at the Silverlink Retail Park

Early rush: A huge queue of shoppers builds up as Next prepare to open their doors at 6am at the Silverlink Retail Park

Bargains: Stores, like this Next outlet in North Tyneside, are slashing prices by up to 80 per cent to tempt hard-up shoppers into parting with their cash

Bargains: Stores, like this Next outlet in North Tyneside, are slashing prices by up to 80 per cent to tempt hard-up shoppers into parting with their cash

Centre director Kevin Duffy said:
‘Cabot Circus has performed well over the festive season and it has been
consistently strong – in the week leading up to Christmas we saw a 19%
increase in shoppers visiting the centre compared to the same period
last year.

‘Here in the South West we’re experiencing a very positive uptake.

‘Shoppers arrived at Cabot Circus as early as 5am this morning, in anticipation of the Next and Harvey Nichols sales beginning.

‘It’s looking very busy out there as shoppers look to bag the best bargains.’

The move to open more stores comes against the background of a high street crisis, with warnings that some retailers will not survive beyond January.

Richard Dodd of the British Retail Consortium said: ‘We are on a rising trend of more stores opening on Boxing Day every year. It is vital for retailers that they are in a position to make sales on a day when customers want to go shopping.’

Test of endurance: One shopper looks thoroughly fed-up as he guards his shopping outside the Next Kids Boxing Day Sale at the Trafford Centre in Manchester

Test of endurance: One shopper looks thoroughly fed-up as he guards his shopping outside the Next Kids Boxing Day Sale at the Trafford Centre in Manchester

Let the sales begin! Shoppers dashed to grab bargains at the Next Kids Boxing Day Sale at the Trafford Centre in Manchester

Let the sales begin! Shoppers dashed to grab bargains at the Next Kids Boxing Day Sale at the Trafford Centre in Manchester

HOW CARRYING THE SHOPPING CAN WEIGH HEAVY ON THE MIND

Two researchers discovered that carrying heavy shopping can affect how consumers judge the importance of unrelated issues.

Meng Zhang from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Xiuping Li from the National University of Singapore wrote in the Journal of Consumer Research that ‘carrying weight can influence people’s judgment in unrelated domains such as the importance of an event.’

In their research the academics found that people are more likely to judge an issue seriously if they carry weight.

‘They thought the issue was more important than participants who weren’t weighed down—metaphorically or literally.’

‘The physical experience can directly cause the mental state or abstract judgment,’ the authors wrote.

Shoppers are smelling blood and Mr
Dodd suggested that competition is so fierce that retailers cannot
afford to close their doors. ‘If you are a retailer who has had a tough
time in the run-up to Christmas, you want to maximise your chances of
doing business in the days after Christmas,’ he said.

‘Being
open on a day that most people are not at work and free and keen to go
shopping makes perfect sense. If your competitors are open, then you
want to be open as well.’

Research by Which? suggests one in ten people delayed buying gifts before Christmas in order to save money by buying in the sales.

In fact, many of the major chains began offering discounts via their websites on Christmas Eve. Spending online on Christmas Day is estimated to have topped £180million.

MS is opening 98 of its large stores, 31 of its outlet stores and 43 MS Simply Food franchise stores in airports, motorway services and railway stations.

A spokesman said: ‘We know that some of our customers will be out and about in some shopping centres and would love to be able to shop with us, so it makes sense for us to open in these locations.’

The chase for shoppers means tens of thousands of people will have to work on a day that, in the past, was always considered to be a day of rest.

While retailers will ask for
volunteers and pay a premium, it is clear that many shop workers will be
manning the tills despite preferring to have the day off.

Among the major chains, only John Lewis, Waitrose and Morrisons will remained closed today.

Tesco
said: ‘This Boxing Day we will have more stores open than ever before,
almost 2,000 in total. This includes 228 Tesco Extras and 85
Superstores.’ Its deals include £200 off a 46in Technika television,
bringing the price down to £599, a Dyson DC25 Ball Upright Vacuum down
by £140 to £199, and a Kelly Holmes Exercise Bike down by £75 to £125.


Enlarge

 
the value of those unwanted presents

Sainsbury’s is opening 380 main stores, almost 200 more than last year, plus 400 convenience stores.

It
is claiming savings of £90million with more than 600 home, furniture,
clothing, entertainment and electrical products at half price or better.
Debenhams will throw open the doors of its 164 stores at 7am for what
it claims is the biggest sale in its 233-year history with savings worth
£170million.

Deputy chief
executive Michael Sharp said: ‘January sales are the time of year when
value is on the top of customers’ lists. This will be our biggest sale
ever.’

A CHRISTMAS CUP OF COFFEE? THAT WILL BE £5

One coffee shop chain used the excuse of being open on Christmas Day to ramp up prices.

A normal cup of coffee was up from £1.80 to £5 at the Caffe Concerto branch on Kensington High Street in West London.

‘We put up the prices because it is Christmas Day, and no one else close by is open,’ said a staff member, who was warning customers of the prices before they ordered.

At another branch in Knightsbridge the price of a white coffee was £5.50, causing one staff member to apologise for the cost.

Despite the high prices, several of the branches were doing a brisk trade, mostly from tourists. No one at the chain’s headquarters was available for comment.

Asda is offering up to 50 per cent off big brand white goods and electronics, including Dyson, Slumberdown, Morphy Richards, Vax, Nicky Clarke, Brabantia, Minky and Russell Hobbs.

Despite the deals, many people simply do not have any spare cash as a result of the squeeze on household budgets and fears about debt.

Charles Davis, managing economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said: ‘Difficult times are set to continue for British households as economic fallout from the on-going debt crisis in the eurozone takes its toll on employment and wage growth prospects in the UK.

‘With high unemployment set to rise further as deeper than anticipated public sector cutbacks outweigh job creation in the private sector, household spending power is likely to be held back by slow earnings growth.

‘The rising cost of living is expected to slow further in the coming months, taking some pressure off, but household budgets are likely to be constrained for some time to come.’

Here’s what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts,
or debate this issue live on our message boards.

The comments below have not been moderated.

Christmas should be treated as one would a headache – go to bed, when you wake up it will be gone.

Fortunately, no queue in my local 24 hour Tesco. What a relief!

my sister is working to day at the Trafford center,…..and she text me this morning to say,…….80% of the people waiting for next to open were ” not english…” and that go’s for most of the other shops to,…….she thinks there buying what ever they can to sell at markets arroung the cheshire area,….at a higher price.

£5 at caffe concerto,,,,,,,does that include the royal philharmonic orchestra ?

I remember when the shops did not open on Christmas Day or Boxing Day. Does anyone still remember when no shops were open on Sundays?

Thats not the Trafford centre, in Manchester it’s the one in Delhi
– Roge, Lancashire – No, It’s definitely the one in the Trafford centre. I’ve been there and I recognise it.

Er, we are in a recession, of course shops want to mazimise sales when the demand is there. Plus, all these ‘poor’ shop workers are probably pleased to get away from their family and back to normality….ON DOUBLE TIME! – Cath, UK, 26/12/2011 09:31 And you know they are all pleased how exactly??? And very few down trodden workers get double time these days. Most grabbing companies give new contracts that have anything resembling an actual benefit such as DT removed. If you’ve EVER worked in retail, then you would know how badly treated staff are these days.
– Freddie The Flea, MA, USA, 26/12/2011 9:53
How do you know they aren’t pleased? and I HAVE worked in retail and got double time for my trouble! For those of us on our own at Christmas going back to work is a blessed relief. Here’s an idea, if you aren’t prepared o work over Christmas, don’t work in retail and moan about it!

Looks like there are no English people left in Manchester….. – chubbychops, staffordshire……………………………………………………………………….. The majority are English in Manchester. Being English doesn’t mean you’re white. Do you live in a cave or what?? I wouldn’t believe anything you see in a newspaper anyway. That is 100% guaranteed NOT the Next kids in the Trafford Centre. The photo above that one of the bored guy is nowhere near the trafford centre either.

80% OFF!!!! where is the proof of that. This is just a headline to make you spend spend spend , with false promises

Loads of overpriced tat to start with.
ER,London:I’m afraid some of the biggest sales shoppers will be working-middle class,whose husband works his little socks off for his cash.No Vicky Pollard would be able to get round the sales with their imaginary half a dozen kids in tow;if they had kids,they’d leave them snoozing in bed leaving hubby/aunt/grandma etc in charge so they have more attention to spend looking round shops rather than having their kids trampled to death by ignorant pigs.If a genuine Vicky Pollard character does exist (which you seem to think does, with as much enthusiasm as a young child believes in Santa),then surely they’d know someone who knows someone who they can give a shoplifting list to so they don’t even have to cram in the shops or pay the sale price either?And why would they need to send someone shoplifting in the sales when they could have done it on the run-up to Xmas anyway? Real life is nothing like you are painting it to be.

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