December 26, 2008

Boxing Day sales in Britain draws millions

Retailers in Britain are bracing for what some say could be the biggest Boxing Day sales event ever, with discounts up to 90 percent to lure in customers.

Post-Christmas sales were expected to draw millions to stores, The Times of London reported Friday. Retailers were hoping to make up for sluggish sales before the holiday, the report said.

The British Retail Consortium said discounts had cut profit margins severely. Sky News said as many as 15 national chain stores in Britain were in danger of bankruptcy.

A British think-tank, the Center for Economics and Business Research, said the economy could decline 2.5 percent in 2009, marking a slide unseen since 1946.

Sales, however, began briskly the day after Christmas for Selfridges department store, a spokeswoman said.

People were running into the store and grabbing bags. Some women had four or five bags in their hands. Security had to get more people down to the store to help, she said.