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Steady Start to Boxing Day Sales In Guildford

Published on: 26 Dec, 2018
Updated on: 4 Jan, 2019

Shop windows ready for the post-Christmas sales in Guildford.

By Hugh Coakley

A steady flow of shoppers were taking advantage of Boxing Day sales in Guildford High Street this morning as some retail analysts say shoppers are becoming immune to sales.

The chains and larger stores continued the discounting they had started before Christmas. Most had already jumped the gun by starting their post-Christmas sales online.

This has included “tech” goods as well such a TVs, laptops and phones with Argos, Amazon, Currys, John Lewis and other all offering selected price reductions.

Shops were busy but it looked like a steady, gentle start on Guildford High Street on Boxing Day – not the mad rush that had been seen in Boxing Day Sales in the past.

Traditionally, shops had seen the sales as a way of selling old stock, particularly winter clothes, to make room for new stock and to bring in cash to pay for it. This appears to have changed with continuous sales from Black Friday in November and even earlier.

It is questionable whether shops had over-stocked and were slashing prices in a move to sell surplus products.

Shoppers in Guildford were asked for their comments on the Guildford sales.

James Hemery, a civil servant from Guildford was very pleased with his bargains. He said: “I’m very happy with the sales so far, I’ve got what I want. 99p for a Dr Who annual that was selling for £7.99 is excellent. I’m now looking for clothes bargains.”

Jo Ayling with husband Kevin and daughter Beth were in town for the sales. Jo had been up early at 6am for the Next sale but had been a, “bit disappointed”. Her husband Kevin, a postman for 34 years, said: “It looks like we have lost the soul of Guildford High Street, it seems as if the independent shops and the pubs are going.” He added that he would be, “looking online as there isn’t as much in the sales as there used to be”.

Stacey from Guildford said that she had, “come to town to shop rather than shop online in order to support local shops”.

The BBC had reported that the number of people visiting High Street shops, shopping centres and retail parks on Christmas Eve was up 6.8% on last year. And Guildford High Street bucked the trend against falling footfall nationally in both October and November (2018).

With even bigger discounts expected in the post-Christmas and New Years sales, it has been a difficult year for the high streets nationally. Mike Ashley, the owner of Sports Direct, House of Fraser and with interests in a number of other stores, had warned that the high street was in danger of being “smashed” by weak spending.

Sir John Timpson in his High Street Report has called for a strategic review of the town centre saying that there were twice as many shops as required. Meanwhile, the question whether, or not, tax changes should be introduced by the government to level the playing field between online and high street traders, continues to be asked.

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Responses to Steady Start to Boxing Day Sales In Guildford

  1. Lisa Wright Reply

    December 27, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    We ventured into town for some sales shopping today (December 27). Hubby did well and picked up a few bargains. Unfortunately everything I wanted wasn’t available in my size and I ended up buying the things I’d seen this evening online instead.

    I think we need a positive step change in high street retail for it to survive. There are so many small traders and cottage industries that would love to have a secure retail base but just can’t afford the rent and rates.

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