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London stores braced for Boxing Day chaos

Stores in the capital are braced for chaos today as the Boxing Day sales begin.

Harrods is just one of the stores expecting to be overwhelmed with Boxing Day shoppers Credit: Credit: Reuters

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.

Late Christmas shopping: Hotels report high occupancy rates

“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

Shopping influx expected in the West End

Thousands of shoppers in London's West End braved the rainy weather on Oxford Street this Saturday. Credit: Reuters

The West End is set to see an influx of shoppers eager to do some last minute shopping today.

Last year around 400,000 customers hit the area's shops in the last few days before Christmas, but businesses expect more this year due to the weekend's poor weather.

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International visitors boost London's profits

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.

Ralph Lauren shop in Bond Street, London. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The average spend for visitors from the Middle East and Russia was £1600 and £603 respectively.