UK shoppers hit seasonal sales -- as bargains boom online
UK shoppers are flocking to the post-Christmas sales, especially online where heavy promotions have tempted consumers away from the crowded stores, a survey showed yesterday.
But numbers of shoppers visiting the sales on St Stephen's Day, the key post-Christmas sales day, were similar to 2009, according to the survey by market researcher Experian.
Footfall in stores for Monday was up 21.5pc compared to the same date in 2010 -- but that figure was flattered by Boxing Day falling on a Sunday last year, when shops have limited opening hours.
"It sounds impressive but basically it's mirroring where we were in 2009, and that post-credit crunch was not a tremendous year," said Experian retail analyst Anita Manan.
Also, sales on the day after Christmas last year were affected by bad weather, which kept many people at home.
This year, mild weather compared to the previous two years had helped to buoy footfall on the street, Ms Manan said.
Online promotions led to a 40pc surge in visits to retail websites on Monday, she added.
Discounting has been at unprecedented levels as retailers target consumers who have seen their disposable incomes squeezed by rising prices, muted wages growth and government austerity measures.
The news here was better than across the Atlantic, where chain store Sears said its sales kept falling at the peak of the holiday season. It plans to close up to 120 stores in the coming year. (Reuters)