Boxing Day sales spark queue mayhem

Fangkhan Allan is thrilled with her choices at Harvey Nichols. Picture: Scott Taylor

Fangkhan Allan is thrilled with her choices at Harvey Nichols. Picture: Scott Taylor

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HARVEY Nichols saw its longest ever queue as crowds descended on the Capital for the traditional Boxing Day sale spending spree.

Cold weather and a surge in online shopping did little to deter bargain hunters, with many retailers reporting bumper sales.

A queue to the luxury department store stretched from Multrees Walk on to St Andrew Square and down towards Princes Street.

A spokesman for Harvey Nichols said: “We have two queues, one at the front and another at the side.

“Our side queue was almost twice as long as the front, and actually lapped it.

“This is the first time that has happened. I would say there were about 600 people. The flow of people was constant for about 15 or 20 minutes.

“The side door goes directly into accessories, with people most excited about handbags and ladies’ shoes.”

Marks and Spencer and Jenners in Princes Street were also busy, with sales assistants describing the scenes as “manic”.

But most independent stores in the Grassmarket were closed, as was John Lewis in the St James Centre.

Rebecca Christensen, founder of Love from Indie Street – a website for Edinburgh’s best independent businesses – said there had been “healthy” sales.

She said that gifts of 
afternoon tea has been a hit this year while online shopping has proved popular with those keen to avoid the crowds.

More than 60,000 people searched out Boxing Day bargains at Fort Kinnaird, with queues forming outside Next from the early hours.

Retail park manager Liam Smith said: “The Boxing Day sales have once again proven a massive success with Edinburgh shoppers, who have flocked in their tens of thousands. Many also seem to be skipping a second day of turkey with our new restaurants reporting a high number of visitors.”

Meanwhile, it was a mixed picture for Multrees Walk, with its high-end jewellers and fashion brands.

Some retailers enjoyed record numbers, while others revealed that trade had been quieter than expected.

Gabrielle Pacitti, sales associate for Michael Kors, said there were long queues outside as soon as it opened at 11am.

She said: “It’s been really busy, absolutely heaving and much better than last year.

“The Hamilton bag in brown in the luggage department has been really popular.”

But Melanie Turner, sales assistant for the jeweller Links London in Multrees Walk, said that Boxing Day had been “surprisingly quiet”.

She said: “We have had busier Saturdays. Historically, we had queues out the door. I think they have realised that our sales go on for longer these days.”

Bush Bensaad, operations manager for G-Star, said Edinburgh’s first Black Friday had taken off some of the pressure off Boxing Day. He added: “Things have levelled out and the store is up generally on last year.”

john.connell@edinburghnews.com

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