Boxing Day sales begin - will they save the high street?

26 December 2008

Ah, the Boxing Day sales. Time once again to hold your head in your hands, despairing at the cash you could have saved if you hadn't been sucked into the whorish vortex of Christmas past.

Debenhams opened at 7am this morning with all guns blazing; there's up to 70% off all clothing lines, although a quick flick through the website reveals half price reductions to be the norm. If you want to avoid the crush, there's free delivery on all online orders over £100.

Tesco began their sale just before Christmas; you can expect up to 50% off everything except groceries. Some of the better deals include a Sony 32" HD Ready LCD TV with built-in Freeview, down from £500 to £349.97, plus another £7.46 off in VAT reductions (and 3% off with Quidco if you're so inclined). The (up to) 70% sale is ongoing online at Littlewoods, while in the real world there are up to half price sales at Homebase, M&S, John Lewis and plenty more besides.

And despite everyone in the country claiming to be poor, we're still behaving like a famine is on the way, clearing the shelves and clearly spending even more money we don't have. According to the BBC, customers outside Selfridges in London began queuing at 2am. That's in the morning. A spokesperson said:

"It was mental when they came into the store. I've never seen anything like it. People were running into the store and grabbing bags. Some women had four or five bags in their hands. Security had to get more people down to the store to help."

Mental indeed. The Beeb reckons these sales will mean life or death for some retail chains, as this is the time of year when many retailers must pay their next three months' rent. Research by PricewaterhouseCoopers has suggested that 82% of High Street retailers offered either sales or promotions in the run up to Christmas. Plenty of us are being swept along in the hysteria to save money; will it be enough to prevent our high streets going bust and being boarded up?


  • andy y.
    There are twp solid reasons to stock up now (i) We are undermining the integrity of the pound.There is a seriousrisk of a major devaluation which will push up the prices of imports (ie most everything we buy) (ii) We are not many steps away from economic anarchy.On that basis turn money into stuff.Preferably weapons and food not LCD TV's. Mind you I might buy an LCD to watch the riots in HD
  • Vince V.
    Andy, that's an interesting comment. I have heard various theories about this 'buy weapons, not LCD TV' argument, and further devaluation of the GBP. Are there any references you can suggest to read up more on about this?
  • Chris
    @Vince VVong. You could do worse than check out (the forums in particular): There are a few tin foil hat wearers there but also lots of useful information on the economic situation.
  • andy y.
    I wouldn't worry about this too much ( and that's a bif If) our financial system can't take the pain we are in hell, sadly theres not much you can do to anticipate this. More often in periods of econonic and social turmoil the protected roles are those that uphold the status quo eg Police Officer,Army,Politician . My best guess (and that's all it is) is that we are doing all we can to avoid a sudden breakdown in the economy by propping up basically unsound banks and businesses. The price of this is a much longer but shallower recession and very high levels of unemployment. On the 'bright side' unemployment is good for the surviving companies as they can treat staff like shite.Watch for for them push and get removal of the mimimum wage .Your pension plan will be f*cked over,public or private sector. Higher taxes and lower wages will destroy disposable incomes for all but the well paid, Merry Christmas!
  • ODB
    Went to sales today...same stuff that was on sale BEFORE Christmas...waste of time
  • Glyn
    Judging by the millions of people out shopping, I think this recession is going the same way as Bird Flu .... Let's panic!!!! We're all gonna die!! Oh, what happened? Was that it?
  • Anthony
    Went to the sale today and yesterday ... Guildford high street is full of people but the sale is rather disappointing.... Fun fact - went to French collection today and the sales told me the price has not been updated on the tags.... still managed to spend £50....
  • ODB
    you mean French Connection?
  • Joe F.
    This is awesome! The new LG is ultra slim- breaks even last years record.

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