'Record' online Boxing Day sales

There was a new record for online shopping set yesterday, analysts claimed. High streets retailers said they enjoyed record figures as the average footfall across the UK rose by 21.6% compared to last year.

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  1. Wales

Cardiff shopping centre breaks retail records

High streets and shopping centres across the country have been busy with people hunting for bargains Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA

Shoppers have been once again hitting the streets in their thousands as the sales continue - and it looks like Welsh retailers may have done well in the run-up to Christmas.

Today St David's shopping centre in Cardiff said it broke records for footfall and retail sales last week, with 1.3m shoppers spending £2.5m a day.

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Boxing Day breaks records for UK online shopping

Boxing Day set a new British record for online shopping, figures showed today.

While thousands of shoppers queued outside stores up and down the country to get ahead of the game, millions more made the most of tumbling prices from the comfort of their own homes.

  • 14 million hours were spent on shopping online yesterday
  • That totalled 113 million site visits (slightly lower than the 126 million expected)
  • Web sales were up 17% compared to Boxing Day 2011

Figures from market data firm Experian also showed that Christmas Eve was 86% bigger than last year as a shopping day, and Christmas Day was 71% bigger.

John Lewis enjoys sales boom in pre-Christmas shopping

John Lewis broke through the £150m barrier for the first time in pre-Christmas trading. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Leading department store John Lewis recorded its best ever start to an online sale, which began on Christmas Eve, with hourly orders up 70% on last year.

In its final pre-Christmas trading period, John Lewis saw sales of £157.8m, up 26.5% on the same period last year.

The store's managing director, Andy Street, said: "To be announcing another record-breaking pre-Christmas week along with such a fantastic start to our online clearance is marvellous news, and is very encouraging ahead of our shops opening their doors tomorrow morning."

The announcement came as records were set for Boxing Day sales across the UK. Click here to read more on the consumer boom.

Yuletide online shopping rocketed this year

UK internet users made 84 million visits to retail websites on Christmas Eve and 107 million visits on Christmas Day - up a substantial 86%, and 71% year on year.

James Murray, digital insight manager at credit rating and analysts Experian, said another bumper Boxing Day was predicted for web sales:

Boxing Day has traditionally been the single biggest shopping day of the year online. This year we predicted that Boxing Day would see UK internet shoppers make 126 million visits to retail websites, and in doing so set new records for online shopping.

Things could go either one of two ways. Either the boom in post-Christmas shopping could mean our cautious predictions of 31% growth for Boxing Day are smashed out of the park, or the early buying on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day could mean Boxing Day is slightly subdued.

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Boxing Day sales in numbers

  • The UK average footfall was up by 21.6% on Boxing Day last year, the retailers' body said.
  • Some 350,000 passed through Birmingham's Bullring Shopping Centre after doors opened at 12:20am.
  • Manchester's Trafford Centre enjoyed its biggest Boxing Day sale in its history, with 20,000 at the out-of-town location by 8:00am.
  • Kent's Bluewater shopping centre saw about 120,000 visitors pass through its doors today, with queues forming at 1am.

Chinese shoppers lead huge Boxing Day sales

Shoppers queue to enter Selfridges in London's Oxford Street. Credit: PA

Chinese shoppers have proven to be the top spenders as footfall rose 31.3% from last year in London's West End, with Middle Eastern and Nigerian shoppers also understood to be among the strongest growth nationalities at the tills.

The international shoppers were being greeted by a retail staff who speak more than 22 languages combined, including Mandarin.

Designer handbags and fashion items were said to be among the most popular purchases this year.

Richard Brown, of tax-free shopping experts Global Blue, said: "With average spend per transaction for both Chinese and Middle Eastern shoppers at well over £1,000, their impact will be hugely valuable to this sales season."

Boxing Day shoppers clear shelves in record numbers

A solitary handbag was left on a shelf at Selfridges in London's Oxford Street. Credit: PA

Boxing Day sales records were smashed today as shoppers sent tills into meltdown across the country, with thousands of bargain-hunters waiting for stores to open their doors.

In London, forecasters said more than £50 million would have been taken on the West End's famous shopping destinations of Bond Street, Regent Street and Oxford Street by closing time tonight.

The surge in enthusiasm for a spending spree was attributed by analysts to wealthy international shoppers drawn in by deals on premium beauty brands and designer fashion accessories.

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