Bloomberg News

Bargain-Hunters Make London Shopping Day Best in Three Years

December 28, 2011

Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Sales in one of London’s busiest shopping districts reached 50 million pounds ($78 million) yesterday as consumers flocked to bigger-than-average discounts on everything from designer handbags to electric toothbrushes.

The New West End Company, which represents more than 600 fashion-led brands in central London’s Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street, said the Boxing Day holiday sales were 5 percent to 10 percent up on 2009 and ’considerably’ higher than last year, which fell on a Sunday.

“Retailers have a lot of stock to clear so we are seeing larger discounts similar to those seen after the financial crisis,” Jace Tyrell, spokesman for New West End said. “Retailers have become much better at managing their stock and therefore their margins.”

New West End estimated more than 700,000 shoppers visited the area despite parts of the subway, known as the Tube, beinge closed down because of industrial action by train drivers, Tyrell said. Some stores were also temporarily closed and parts of the street cordoned off after an 18-year-old man was stabbed to death on Oxford Street.

Police said in statement today 11 people remain in custody after yesterday’s stabbing. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. The area has now reopened for business, police said.

Selfridges, the biggest department store on Oxford Street, said it enjoyed record first-hour sales yesterday, beating its previous record set in 2009 by 15 percent. John Lewis Partnership, owner of Britain’s biggest department store chain, begins its sale today.

“Even with events on Oxford Street it has been a very busy start to the sales,” Tyrell said. “We expect that to continue throughout the week.”

--Editors: Chris Peterson, James Kraus

To contact the reporter on this story: Liam Vaughan in London at Lvaughan6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sheldon Reback at sreback@bloomberg.net


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