Foreign tourists have been flocking to Britain to take advantage of the weak pound, coupled by big price reductions on luxury items in London’s designer stores.
Across Britain, £4 billion was spent in total by Britons and foreign buyers looking to bag a bargain. While foreign purchasers were keen to buy while the pound is still struggling, it is understood that British bargain hunters have been making purchases in advance of expected soaring inflation next year.
In London, there were huge queues outside Harrods, waiting for the luxury store to open its doors at 10am. Meanwhile, Selfridges said that it had made £2 million worth of sales in just its first hour of trading after shoppers had queued up outside its Oxford Street shop from the early hours of the morning.
People were queuing up from the early hours of the morning, and some even camped outside stores, to make sure that they were one of the first through the doors. According to analysts at the Centre for Retail Research and IMRG, an estimated 27 million shoppers, including many who had travelled from China and the Far East, were expected to have spent nearly £4 million during Boxing Day.
Huge spends every second
Over nine hours of trading, that would mean that £121,000 was being spent every second. High end retailers said that tourists were those leading the queues as they waiting to purchase luxury goods.
Early statistics reveal that there has been a six per cent decline in the number of people heading to high streets, and a 16.6 per cent fall in those going to out of town shopping centres during Boxing Day. However, there has been a further increase in online shopping, with transactions up by 11.5 per cent.
The huge Boxing Day spend came after a significant online shop on Christmas Day, when £800 million was spent by those who wanted to be the first to buy a bargain.