London on Sale!

Remember all those Christmases when you’ve bought expensive presents for friends and family, only to find that they’ve been marked down by 50% one day after Christmas!  How infuriating it is that just one day makes all the difference to the cost of some items, and yet we don’t want to be a scrooge and begrudge loved ones the presents that you would like them to have.  Christmas is the season for giving right?

Debenhams at Christmas

Debenhams at Christmas

Well, things are a little different this year.  The sales have started much earlier and on High Street London and elsewhere, retailers have started offering discounts of 20% to 50% as early as November to snare shoppers who still have the money to spend. The strategy is to get whatever share of household consumption they can before budgets gets tighter. Stores like M&S and Debenhams have also resorted to ‘guerrilla tactics’, paying people to spruik for customers at the rival stores.  However, it seems that even with the discounts, sales are slow, with shoppers being warier about spending money.

Large retailers like Woolworths and MFI, who have been around forever, have gone under and many more are predicted to fall victim to the credit crunch.  In an effort to boost consumer confidence, the British government has reduced VAT from 17.5% to 15% for 13 months, which isn’t a lot really.  Halving it would be much more attractive.

Selfridges at Christmas

Selfridges at Christmas

It’s a buyer’s market and savvy shoppers will be sitting tight, in the hope of securing that ultimate bargain.  Many of the bigger department stores like Selfridges or Harvey Nichols are expected to discount their products from December 24th.  Other shops are also providing promotional vouchers and with a little bit of research, it is not going to be too difficult to find the bargain you’re after.

After Christmas sales will be even more interesting.  Happy Shopping!


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