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Boxing Day sales expected to drop in the Broadway with shoppers opting to shop online or on Monday instead

Footfall in the Broadway is expected to plummet this Boxing Day with big shops shut and Sunday hours shopping restrictions in place.

Retail sales are expected to plunge on Boxing Day regardless of potential Covid-19 restrictions the Government may put in place, data has revealed.

Research from VoucherCodes showed that sales figures on one of the biggest shopping days of the year will total almost £4bn on 26 December, down 10% on 2019’s figures £4.4bn and down 1% from 2020, £3.97bn, if non-essential stores are allowed to remain open.

Boris Johnson has said no new Covid-19 rules will be put in place before Christmas but there are no guarantees for the future.

The prime minister has said that there will be no new Covid-19 rules set out before Christmas, but Boris Johnson has not ruled out stricter restrictions after 25 December.

According to retail intelligence agency Springboard, footfall nationally was down by 57% last year as Britain was under tiered restrictions.

Last Christmas., Bradford was under Tier 3 restrictions meaning that the hospitality sector was closed except for takeaways and people were not allowed to meet except for social bubbles, but shops remained open.

In 2020, the Centre for Retail Research found that online spending at Christmas increased by a massive 56.2% at £18.6m, with figures including online sales by brick-and-mortar stores including Next, John Lewis, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s.

Despite online sales increasing around Christmas, Boxing Day sales were down a miserable 36.6% compared to that of 2019.

A spokesperson for the research company, Springboard, said: “Boxing Day sales have become an increasingly online affair, but the growth in sales online was much lower than the drop in offline sales, so the Boxing Day sales were a disaster for the industry.”

Boxing Day sales are expected to be down. Image: Justin Lim.

Footfall in the Broadway, Bradford’s main shopping centre, doesn’t look bright on Boxing Day this year, with shoppers expected to hit the sales on the upcoming Monday and Tuesday bank holidays instead.

The Broadway’s shopping centre general manager, Ian Ward said: “the sales will be slightly different than previous years because one, it falls on a Sunday, and secondly, a number of big retailers like M&S and Next, for example, have decided not to trade on Boxing Day to support the staff.

“My personal feeling is that Monday 27 December will be more like what Boxing Days sales would be from previous years.

The shopping centre manager added: “Boxing Day, even with Covid-19, was relatively strong even though the build-up was reasonably quiet. It wasn’t as strong as in 2019 but it was still a strong trading day.

“What we don’t know, in the current climate, is what it will look like this year. We know that Boxing Day falls on a Sunday and so we certainly believe that people will hold back on Boxing Day and hit the sales on Monday and Tuesday, which are the two bank holidays.”

Boxing Day falls on a Sunday. Image: Artem Beliaikin.

Boxing Day falls on a Sunday which means, due to trading laws, retailers can only be open for six consecutive hours between 10am and 6pm, with most shops opening at 10am and closing at 4pm.

Worries about the Omicron variant and increasing online shopping will also play a part in decreased footfall.

Next’s Boxing Day sale, which is always extremely popular with clothes marked up to 80% off, will not be happening instore on Sunday and will fall on Monday and Tuesday instead. The company, along with M&S, have decided to give their workers the day off on Sunday to celebrate with family and friends.

Next’s winter sale will start online on Christmas Eve so many shoppers will scoop bargains online instead.

Researchers from PwC have tracked Christmas promotions by retailers and have found that fewer retailers have participated in Christmas discounts with some not offering any at all. The researchers said: The importance of Boxing Day sales has been declining for some years, particularly as Black Friday has grown, but they will be particularly lacklustre in 2021.

“A combination of stock shortage and a reluctance to put added pressure on an already stretched supply chain to meet delivery deadlines, are discouraging retailers from offering promotional offers.”


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