Poor sales leads to Boxing Day bonanza for shoppers

Stepping Up Effort: Stores are expected to slash prices after poor shopper turn-out. Picture: Dan Phillips

Stepping Up Effort: Stores are expected to slash prices after poor shopper turn-out. Picture: Dan Phillips

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THE desperation of high street stores to shift stock is set to lead to a Boxing Day bargains bonanza for city shoppers.

Experts have predicted major shops will discount even further from Monday, even though prices in the lead up to Christmas have already been cut more than usual, with the high street battling online retailers.

The fact that sales performance north of the Border has been significantly poorer throughout the year than in England should make it even better for shoppers hunting for a deal.

Although most outlets are not planning early opening on December 26 as they are in London – with some even delaying their opening by as much as 24 hours – the streets are still expected to be packed.

A spokesman for the British Retail Consortium in Scotland said Edinburgh shops would be prepared to take a hit for the sake of long-term performance.

He added: “There will be a lot of people out looking for bargains and, even though retailers have already cut prices in the run up to Christmas, they will go even further.

“Businesses have to turn their stock into sales, and of course they’ve got bills to pay as well. I think it’s tougher than it was last year, but not the toughest ever – 2008 was worse.

“For those with a bit of money to spend on Boxing Day, it will be a great opportunity.”

A unique approach being taken this festive period in Edinburgh will go ahead at John Lewis in the city centre, with the store launching its “virtual window display” today, the first time such a project has been trialled in the Capital.

It means customers passing the shop will be able to use their iPhones to scan products set aside for clearance in the windows. That code will link directly to the firm’s website, where the purchase can be finalised and picked up in store later.

Simon Russell, head of multi-channel at John Lewis, said: “These innovative window displays offer our customers another way to shop at their convenience from Christmas Eve through to January 15 and this is particularly important on Boxing Day, when John Lewis shops are closed.”

The Met Office said that, while the weather on Boxing Day would not be ideal – with a good chance of rain and winds – it probably would not be enough to discourage people from hitting the sales.

amorris@edinburghnews.com

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