A record £1.3m in Selfridges’ first hour of trading on Boxing Day and hundreds of thousands of consumers descending on London, Birmingham and Liverpool have made for what analysts believe was the busiest shopping day this year.
Boxing Day saw an unprecedented number of shops open, with fashion retailers opening from as early as 6am. Next opened first, followed by Topshop and Miss Selfridge at 7am.
Despite a tube strike and a stabbing in London, retailers in the West End said they took £15m in the first three hours of the sales, while department store Selfridges took £1.3m in its first hour of trading. Westfield shopping centres reported around 50,000 visitors early on.
Across the UK, retailers also saw large crowds. At Birmingham’s Bullring centre, 2,500 shoppers waited for Next to open and more than 1,000 queued for Selfridges.
The number of high street bargain hunters on Boxing Day was 21% higher than last year, according to Experian. However, last year was disrupted by Sunday trading restrictions and freezing conditions. In comparison with 2009, shopper numbers were flat.
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