Shoppers flood the High Street on Boxing Day

| December 29, 2009 | 0 Comments

Shoppers were out looking for bargains on Boxing Day after millions flooded the High Street.

Shoppers were queuing from 4am at the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham, while shoppers queued at Lakeside shopping centre in Essex as early as 5am.

Retail analysts said around 12 million people hit the High Street on Saturday - with shoppers up by 20% compared to Boxing Day last year, according to Experian.

London-based Selfridges experienced its best ever Boxing Day, up 10% compared with last year.

Many experts suggested it was the result of Boxing Day falling at a weekend and the impending return of VAT to 17.5%.

In the meantime, the John Lewis Partnership, which is seen as a barometer of British retailing, said sales in the week to 19 December totalled more than £112 million - a rise of 15.5% on the same week last year.

The figures have boosted hopes that an economic recovery is on the way.

However, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has expressed caution and are suggesting that High Streets are braced for further tough times next year.

A survey by the BRC said four out of five retailers questioned said they expected sales would not improve on 2009 levels.

Finally, Jorg Radeke, an economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research said: “We have argued that [the VAT reduction] should stay in place until July 2010, anticipating that domestic demand would be yet too weak to cope with a reversal at the turn of the year.”

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