Stores in the capital are braced for chaos today as the Boxing Day sales begin.
Harrods is expecting so many shoppers to turn up that it is providing hot chocolate and entertainment outside to queueing customers from 9am, an hour before it opens its doors. In previous years shoppers have queued from 5am to try and get their hands on cut price designer goods.
The West End is expected to be one of the busiest shopping destinations in the country - with around 800,000 shoppers hitting the area on Boxing Day last year.
“The rain may have deterred some shoppers on Saturday, but retailers across the West End reported queues forming as early as 9am on Sunday as eager shoppers gathered to snap up the hundreds of promotions on offer.
Best sellers so far include treats for pets, interactive toys and novelty foods.
With reports of a cold blast due and a possible white Christmas, sales for winter warmers from jumpers to ‘ultra-down’ jackets are doing particularly well.
West End hotels are reporting strong occupancy rates with both international and domestic visitors making a weekend of their shopping trip.”
– Sally Eden, Head of Communications at New West End Company
Overseas tourists have helped shops in central London see an estimated spend of £380 million. Retailers in Bond Street, Regent Street and Oxford Street also saw a 6.7 per cent increase in their footfall over the recent half-term period.
The average spend for visitors from the Middle East and Russia was £1600 and £603 respectively.