Shoppers began queuing at 4 am today for the Boxing Day sales, but the amount spent is predicted to dive by 26 per cent on last year despite a £1.8 billion spending splurge online.
Britons were spotted lining up outside Next stores in Liverpool, Birmingham and North Tyneside as they hunted for bargains at the retail colossus.
Around 200 people had formed a socially distanced queue by 5.50 am outside Next in Leicester, which is under Tier 3 constraints, but sales at stores are still expected to drop by 56 per cent to £1.4 billion, according to the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) and VoucherCodes.co.uk.
Footfall for shopping is down 57 per cent in the United Kingdom up to 10 am compared with last year, primarily due to stores being closed in places under Tier 4 constraints, figures from the retail intelligence agency Springboard have established.
In the meantime, a survey has discovered that consumers are planning to spend £162 on average online in the post-Christmas sales, with clothes and shoes topping wish lists, followed by food and drink, homeware and stationery.
It comes as millions of people move into Tier 4 today, meaning they will not be able to visit shops in person as all non-essential stores and businesses must close.
Sussex, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire will move into Tier 4, created in response to a variant of COVID 19 discovered in the United Kingdom, from Saturday.
The parts of Essex still in Tier 2, Waverly in Surrey and Hampshire including Portsmouth and Southampton, except the New Forest, will also move into the toughest tier.
The additional six million going into Tier 4 takes the total number of people under the toughest restrictions to 24 million, 43 per cent of England’s population – a further 24.8 million will be in Tier 3.
Trade is predicted to fall by 26 per cent to £3.2 billion, plunging for the third year in a row, despite the rise in online sales.
Anna Naik, VoucherCodes.co.uk’s lifestyle editor, told a news outlet that the post-Christmas sales are always one of the busiest times for retailers and that while this is still the case, it’s not unexpected to see a plunge in sales for the third year in a row, especially due to the new regulations in place for most of the country.
Boxing Day spending is predicted to plunge by more than a quarter compared with last year, as part of a downward trend in recent years and due to the effect of coronavirus restrictions.
I can remember when all the shops were closed Boxing Day because surely staff deserve a rest – I would rather stay wrapped up warm in bed, thank you.
So, we weren’t permitted to spend Christmas with our loved ones, but we can stand in a line for hours on end with a complete stranger, it really does make my blood boil.
Nevermind that our freedoms are being trimmed, so long as people have their material goods, I really do despair, and Next only put out the junk they’ve got in store that they won’t be putting out on display next year.
The good stuff, which there is very little of is right at the front and pricey, and I certainly wouldn’t queue to go into Next on Boxing Day, plus there’s usually always a sales rail in clothes shops, so this just doesn’t make any sense.
This is very sad, and if the wind blows and the rain pours, it will make fantastic entertainment for those normal people sat in the warm with their feet up – pass the Quality Street, please.