Shoppers queue outside Capital stores for Boxing Day bargains

Boxing Day: A Day Of Gifts And Holiday Shopping

Boxing Day: A Day Of Gifts And Holiday Shopping

There are fears for United Kingdom high streets as a tough sales year has been topped off with disappointing Boxing Day sales, despite some of the UK's biggest shopping centres predicting heavy footfall.

Bargain shoppers and those with Christmas cash to spend were up extra early this morning looking for local Boxing Day deals.

Shoppers there were expected to spend £50m over the course of the day, according to the New West End Company, which represents over 600 businesses across Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street.

Yet 2018 marks the third consecutive year that footfall has declined on Boxing Day morning, figures released by Springboard, which tracks retails activity across the United Kingdom, show.

"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". The USA and Great Britain led the way on a global scale for post-Christmas discounts and numerous online stores, such as Amazon, sent at millions of e-mails this morning advertising huge discounts.

Shoppers queued outside stores around the country before first light as stores swapped their festive window displays for huge signs promising hefty discounts.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, described the Boxing Day turnout as "poor" this year and suggested that Britons had grown so accustomed to price cuts that there was less impetus to shop on 26 December.

Michael Ward, the managing director of Harrods, said he expected to see the same number of shoppers as previous year at the Knightsbridge department store as it welcomed an "international clientele" from China, the Middle East and elsewhere.

Most years, December 26 is back to business as usual in the U.S. (unless you aren't now in the workforce or are one of those lucky people whose office closes between Christmas and New Year's).

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"Our butlers are just out serving them with teas and coffees - so we're going to have a very civilised but very good sale".

He said consumers are attracted to the department store on Boxing Day because they offer the "exceptional" and "special".

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".

Meanwhile, homeware will make up 18 per cent of sales (£855m), while Christmas cards discounted for next year's festive season account for 17 per cent (£808m), it added.

And retailers in London's West End declared a "Boxing Day bounce" saying there had been a 15% increase in footfall from previous year.

They said footfall up to midday was 10% lower than on 22 December, which was the peak trading day before Christmas this year, and 9.4% lower than on Black Friday.

Shopping centres were hardest hit, with turnout falling by 6.7 per cent. Footfall on the high street...

Online fashion retailer ASOS also issued a profit warning on the back of a "significant deterioration" in sales growth.

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