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