Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, is one of the largest shopping days of the year, but it’s only the beginning of Britain’s astronomical success with post-Christmas sales this season. With prices being slashed left and right, the nation is seeing the largest business boom during the 2015 Boxing Day sales, with Selfridges achieving their most lucrative hour in the history of the company, and John Lewis noting an increase of 17.7 percent as compared to Boxing Day last year. Harrods’ success, on the other hand, comes with a forecast, with their expectation of one million customers within a four-week period following December 26.
Selfridges’ now-record hour, which comes in the company’s 106th year, showed an intake of 2 million pounds, which translates to nearly 3 million U.S. dollars. Workers opened the doors at 9 a.m. to a screaming crowd, which then proceeded to storm the store and give the store this large profit by 10.
Harrods decided to host a special performance featuring cast members of “The Elf,” a musical adapted from a movie of the same name starring Will Ferrell. This musical addition is likely to spark some attention, thus more shoppers, to the store and its sales.
But this projection is also boosted by the fact that Boxing Day fell on a Saturday this year. This means Boxing Day isn’t technically a public holiday, since it will be extended through Monday to make up for the weekend. This gives shoppers the perfect excuse to get out and scoop of savings without having to worry about getting back into their routines quite yet.
Over the whole weekend, London’s West End is estimating to bring in more than 100 million pounds, which translates to nearly 150 million U.S. dollars.
Shoppers from the U.K. aren’t the only ones these stores are looking to for business. New West End Company, a group which represents over 600 retail shops around London, said that London also sees many shoppers flying in internationally every year for Boxing Day, and this year will be no exception, especially with the convenient Saturday placement.
“We expect international shoppers from China, the Middle East, and South East Asia to be among those leading the spending on the day as travelers from these countries have accounted for nearly 40 percent of tax-free spending over 2015,” CEO of New West End Company Jace Tyrell told WWD. “Visitors from China are often among the highest spenders, with the average spend per visit 1,250 pounds, or $1,864 in 2015.”
“During November, sales to American shoppers jumped 51 percent when compared to the same month last year, and we expect this trend to continue throughout the festive season as the interest rate rise within the States will create even better value for the trans-Atlantic shopper,” Tyrell added.
In other words, it seems London is the place everyone wants to flock to for those final end-of-the-year deals. But unfortunately, as with any large shopping day, there was a bit of violence sprinkled in with the great deals. On Saturday, two men began a fight bearing knives at the Intu shopping center southeast London shopping center. Bystanders were forced to vacate the area, and one knife-wielding man was taken into custody, suffering a head injury, while the other man has yet to be found.
“Officers have recovered two knives and are seeking to trace a man who was seen running off, possibly discarding a weapon,” said a Scotland Yard spokeswoman.
This incident was not linked with anything worthy of raising alarm. More than likely, it was just a brawl between two disgruntled shoppers. But that didn’t ruin the festivities of the day, as many businesses saw a much-expected profit. And shoppers from around the world got their hands on the deals they were looking for.
Photo courtesy of WWD