UK Boxing Day Sales Expected To Plunge Amid Omicron Concerns

New data suggests that retail sales will slump on Boxing Day regardless of the potential introduction of new measures, with London luxury department store Harrods having started its usual post-Christmas sale 10 days early to pull in as much cash as possible over the festive period.

According to data from VoucherCodes, sales figures on 26 December — typically one of the biggest shopping days of the year — will total approximately £4 billion, down 10% on 2019’s $4.4 billion figure. This is assuming non-essential shops will not be told to close doors amid rising Omicron cases in the country. 

While the Government has confirmed that no new coronavirus restrictions will be brought in in England prior to Christmas day, it remains unclear what will happen after December 25, with prime minister Boris Johnson not yet ruling out the possibility of telling non-essential shops to close. 

Between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, a total of £13.9 billion is expected to be spent, down 9% on 2019. Online spending is set to reach £1.43 billion, a 25% increase compared with 2019 sales, but a 16% drop from Christmas 2020 when online sales hit £1.7 billion as much of the country was put under tough new “Tier 4” restrictions. 

If the UK is placed into a full lockdown come December 26, with non-essential shops told to close, then the research suggests that total sales on Boxing Day will drop 1% compared to 2020 and down 10% on 2019.

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