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Black Friday steals Boxing Day's magic

By Angela Gonzalez-Rodriguez


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Observed with interest every year as a good indicative for what the upcoming months will bring for retailers, Boxing Day is arguably one of the most important dates for British brands. This year the traditional Christmas shopping day has been followed even closer given the ever-growing popularity of Black Friday sales and the aftermaths of Brexit.

This year, millions of Britons are expected to flock to the shops on Boxing Day as they make the most of the special sales and discounts before Brexit-related price hikes trickle down to the high street, informs ´The Guardian´.

Gordon McKinnon, operations director at Intu, which owns Manchester’s Trafford Centre and the Metrocentre in Gateshead, said that this day “It is a huge shopping day because even though there is more discounting before Christmas there are still a lot of retailers, like Next, John Lewis and Selfridges that don’t. There’s a big push from Boxing Day - that’s the emotional bit. People want to go out and get their first fix of the sales.”

This sense of urge has also affected retailers which try capitalise on the sterling´s weakness before the currency fluctuations pushed up prices in 2017 as the cost of importing goods increases. In this regard, Next has said its clothing prices will rise by up to 5 percent.

On a related note, market experts have warned that Black Friday has ruined this year's Boxing Day and January sales, as a record amount of returned online orders means stock will be stuck in warehouses, potentially leaving shop shelves empty, reports the ´Telegraph´. To this point, returns firm Clear Returns highlights that as a result, as many as one in five "this season" items will be absent in December, 26 store sales.

Physical stores will take the largest hit as online sales during Black Friday has upped the level of stock currently "in transit" substantially, consequently hampering their profits by leaving them with less to sell over the biggest Christmas sales day.

Data collated by the ´Telegraph ´indicates that a record 1 billion pounds’ worth of items are expected to be returned after this year's Black Friday as online customers adopted a "buy now and decide later" attitude, instead of braving the high street. In 2015 women's fashion outlets saw more than 60 percent of online Black Friday sales returned within 30 days as online shoppers chose to adopt a "buy now and decide later" attitude, instead of braving stores.

On the upside, retailers in London’s West End are expected to outperform the national average as the devaluation of the local currency after the Brexit´s vote attracts wealthy tourists to its high-end department stores and luxury brands flagship stores. Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of New West End Company - which represents retailers in Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street – predicted Boxing Day would be one of the district’s most successful single shopping days in recent years, with the consensus estimate being 55 million pounds in profits.

“Boxing Day is becoming increasingly popular as a shopping day as customers become savvier, more price sensitive and better at researching purchases,” said Tyrell. “We expect a significantly higher number of Chinese tourists to come over specifically to bargain.

Black Friday
Boxing Day