Sponsored by: Investment Center

Something new in your business?  Click here to submit your business press release

Chamber Corner | Main Street News | Job Hunt | Classifieds | Calendar | Illinois Lottery 

Boxing Day shoppers up 8 percent as Britain begins annual bargain hunt

Send a link to a friend 

[December 26, 2013]  LONDON (Reuters) Britons were out in force for the Boxing Day sales with 8 percent more shoppers than last year, despite heavy rainfall that left parts of the country under water and without power, figures from retail data company Springboard showed on Thursday.

Shopping centers saw a 22 percent rise in the number of bargain-hunters coming through their doors, while high street stores saw 3.4 percent more shoppers as of 10am, the data showed.

Some stores opened as early as 6am in London's main shopping district in the West End and Oxford Street, where over a million people are expected to turn out according to retailers.

Many shops started Britain's traditional "January sales" online on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day as British shoppers increasingly demand earlier and deeper discounting.

Britain's economy has been growing robustly and unemployment has fallen steadily but many Britons still face a squeeze in living standards due to stagnating wages and rising utility bills.

Department store John Lewis <JLP.UL> reported record sales for the week before Christmas on Thursday and said that for the first time it expected the majority of British shoppers to use smartphones rather than desktop computers to make online purchases.

It said its sales in the week to December 21 were up 4.2 percent on last year at 164.4 million pounds ($270 million), surpassing the 160 million-pound mark for the first time.

The department store will release its five-week trading update on January 2.

The retailer also said that on Christmas day, three in four shoppers used their smartphones or tablets rather than traditional desktops to shop on their site, marking a shift from previous years.

"The tipping point has now passed and we expect mobile to be the way the majority of people shop online from now on," said Mark Lewis, online director at John Lewis.

(Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Hugh Lawson)

[ 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

Copyright 2013 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

< Top Stories index

Back to top