Have you survived the sales?

December 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

So, Christmas day excitement is over and the Boxing Day sales begin. This, for many, means getting early and battling through the stores at dawn to find the best bargains, finished with a lovely breakfast. For me, this meant getting up at 3:50AM to be in Next in Southampton at 5AM. I’ve worked at Next for about two years now and do not look forward to the busy sales and crazy shoppers that come with them.

On Christmas Eve, behind the scenes of the sales, the whole staff at Next and all other retailers transform their shops from merchandised, organised fashion to rows of hanging garments with large coloured tags. Making life as simple as possible for crazed 5AM shoppers barging and grabbing onto whatever looks like a bargain. Though being shoved about while trying to tidy clothes on the shop floor is something I will never enjoy, I do see why these loony people get up at stupid o’ clock to purchase the best items. At half price or less you can’t really go wrong.

With an impending VAT rise and the huge popularity of online shopping the shops weren’t sure what they were in for. But sure enough at 5AM on the 27th the queue was out the door of West Quay shopping centre in Southampton 50 shoppers strong.

With lots of stores a including Next, John Lewis and Harrods closed on Boxing Day, BBC News reports of a ‘slump in Boxing Day sales’ the report states that ‘a survey, by analysts Synovate, showed a 22.8% fall in the number of shoppers on Boxing Day this year.’

The report also states ‘The BRC surveyed 17 major retailers, accounting for 51% of UK retailing by turnover, between 22 November and 1 December. It found that 64% of them thought retail sales would worsen in 2011, against 18% who expected an improvement and 18% who thought conditions would stay the same.’ With the rise in VAT and a growing concerns about inflation maybe this is the start of a dismal year for the high street.

Have you braved the sales?

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