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London's Boxing Day bargain hunters buck national trend with an increase in spend at shopping centres

London's Boxing Day bargain hunters buck national trend. Credit: PA

London's Boxing Day bargain hunters bucked the national trend with an increase in spend in shopping centres.

The New West End Company is expecting a bumper Boxing Day due to international shoppers, projecting a spend of £55 million.

Myf Ryan, chief marketing officer at Westfield shopping centres, said Boxing Day sales continued to be an important date in the diary.

The company said shoppers spent £500,000 every hour at its centres during the Christmas period, and there had been growth in visitors from Hong Kong and the US.

Retail analysts ShopperTrak said Boxing Day footfall fell 14% nationally year-on-year, and suggested this was due to Christmas falling on a Sunday, creating an extra bank holiday, as well as record levels of pre-Christmas discounting.

Westfield centres saw shoppers queuing from 2am on Boxing Day, and more than 300,000 people had visited by the time stores closed, Ms Ryan said.

A shopper from Hammersmith paid £75,000 for a new Bentley, making it the day's biggest purchase.

Other extravagant buys over the Christmas period included a £140,000 diamond ring and a £15,000 transaction by a Middle Eastern princess at Gucci.

Ms Ryan said international numbers of shoppers had increased across Westfield's centres.

Tourist spend at Westfield London in November was up 14% year-on-year and luxury spend up 21%. The big international luxury spenders were China, up 44%, the US, up 99%, and Hong Kong, up 191%.

We expect to see high growth again during the busy Christmas and sales shopping period.

– Myf Ryan, chief marketing officer at Westfield

London's Boxing Day bargain hunters buck national trend.