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Urgent: Need help with shopping on boxing day

Urgent: Need help with shopping on boxing day

Old Oct 26th, 2005, 02:25 PM
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Urgent: Need help with shopping on boxing day

Hi britain I desperately need your help, I'm planning to travel to London on the 25th or 26th of this december to stay there for a week in order to enjoy my time but mainly because I heard that shopping on boxing day and the week after it (till New year's) could be very rewarding because of the huge sales. I don't travel to London very often during this period (I usually shop from london in summer)so I have no idea about how the city operates during this time, I mean is shopping really that good at that time of the year? I heard that on boxing day thousands of people queue infront of the shops from 5 am, is that true? Do the crowds and the sales affect the quality of the products (clothes, accessories etc...), I mean most things are taken right? and I might not find good stuff because of that. Do shops and restaurants open during this time of the year (After christmas of course)? I mean high street shops. I really want to do some decent shopping as I dont travel frequently and I only shop in London (I come from Egypt by the way). Do you think its better to come before christmas to get the good stuff? And what are other places worth shopping in, other than high streets? like markets (is camden market of any good?) I know I have lots of questions but Please I need your help because im totally clueless and haven't shopped for a while.
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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 11:05 PM
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First of all, whether Sales are good value in London at all depends on where you're starting from. If you have American tastes in clothes, for example, even Sale prices in London aren't going to be stunning value. And if you're addicted to international labels, London's not a very good place to shop anyway, since we aren't.

Second, no-one knows when Sales will start this year. At a recent clothing industry conference, 70% of Britain's clothing retailers admitted (in an anonymous vote) that they'd probably start their Sale before Christmas. At a private dinner with a group of them last week, the editor of the major trade journal couldn't get one of them to admit they planned so doing. When Sales - especialy for clothing - start depends on how much inventory retailers are stuck with. Right now, with spending depressed and winter VERY reluctant to show itself (today's going to be one of the warmest October days on record in London), the likelihood is that most clothing specialists will start their Sale before Christmas. But typically, the only clothing specialist who starts Sales at 0600 on Boxing Day is Next.

The department stores (who are really the only people with early-morning queues) are a different story. Apart from BhS, they're unlikely to bring their Sales forward. Horrids doesn't normally start its Sale till the end of the month or even the first working day of the New Year: John Lewis/Peter Jones (whose clothing range has improved massively this yewar) normally waits till Dec 27. The really unbearable crowds are typically round the hard-goods box stores in the out of town centres. Unless you're planning to slip a fridge into your hand luggage, you're best avoiding all that.

However uncomfortable it might get, though, I wouldn't move too far off the main High Streets. What Britain does best is mass high-street constantly changing fashion: the stuff you get at River Island, Monsoon, Oasis, Top Shop and the professional foreigners like Zara and H+M. If that's to your taste, the High Streets are the place to find it (though if your travels take you near an Asda, look at the George range which - at any rate the British-designed stuff you get here and in the Wal-Marts outside the US, and not the crap Wal-Mart is still selling as George in the US - is almost certainly the best value mass fashion range anywhere in the world).

The easiest answer is to get the Evening Standard, which runs reasonable coverage of the rapidly-changing Sale situation every day. The Christmas/New Year edition of Time Out usually has pretty comprehensive coverage of what retailers planned to do as of its copy date (typically around Dec 17), though the world often moves on after TO's gone to press.
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Old Oct 28th, 2005, 05:00 AM
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Thank you so much flanneruk for ur detailed reply, I really appreciate it. Actually, I like shopping in high streets in shops like zara, mango, jane norman, topshop that's my taste in clothing. But I was wondering if the clothes of these stores are of the same standard in sales? You said something about the George range, to be honest I've never heard of it, is it that good? and where would I find it? Also what about electronics (mobile,camcorder, laptops)is there sales on electronics after christmas?. Finally what's your advice, I'm going to finish Exams on 22nd of Dec., do you think I should come right away or wait till after christmas or in Jan. after New years'? Thank you for your help
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Old Oct 28th, 2005, 05:12 AM
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As I said, George is at Asda.

It's not stunning. But it's stunning value. And I'll bet that anyone who comes on and rubbishes the range hasn't gone and looked at what's been added over the past couple of months.

It does, however, also include shlock.
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Old Oct 28th, 2005, 05:25 AM
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I've heard that with Christmas being on a Sunday this year, Dec. 27 is a bank holiday. What does this mean in reality - will many of the shops be closed until Wednesday? Thanks!
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Old Oct 28th, 2005, 05:45 AM
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You might also enjoy a trip out to one of the designer villages or a big mall like Bluewater. Several are accessible from London and they are a great place to hunt down bargains that time of year.
Bluewater is a 40min train ride from Charing Cross line and you need the Greenhithe for Bluewater station.
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