They still insist on calling them the January Sales, but we all know they start on Boxing Day. London becomes an irresistible attraction for bargain-hunters. In fact it’s not unknown for some desperate souls to spend their entire Christmas camped out on a department door doorstep.
You don’t have to reach quite that level of retail addiction, but there are the usual spectacular bargains to be had at some of London’s big stores.
Harvey Nichols opens at a relaxed 10am on Boxing Day, and is offering substantial discounts of up to 50 percent on designer labels like Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Paul Smith, Lanvin, Stella McCartney and Christopher Kane. Just the ticket after watching the Absolutely Fabulous Christmas special.
Selfridges opens at 9am on Boxing Day. In 2010 people started queuing at 4am despite freezing temperatures, determined to get their mitts on cut-price Miu Miu jackets and Chloe and Marc bags. If you are both fashion-conscious and budget-conscious, this could be the place, with 50 percent discounts on offer.
The Westfield Shopping Centre (nearest tube: Shepherds Bush) opens at 9am for the full mall shopping frenzy experience. Join the melee at stores like House of Fraser, Zara, Jaeger and Gap. This is where the television cameras are bound to be filming their segments for the evening news bulletins, so dress nicely and look telegenic.
Harrods is not above slashing a few prices. They avoid the vulgar ostentation of Boxing Day though, and wait for December 27 to start their sale, with a celebrity snipping the ribbon to announce that one’s bargain-hunting may commence.