Boxing Day sales: Brits set to spend hundreds of millions less

There are familiar queues at some malls, but spending is expected to be significantly reduced (Picture: SWNS)

Retailers are bracing for a lean set of Boxing Day sales due to the cost of living crisis and rail strikes.

Boxing Day is traditionally one of the busiest of the year for high streets, but Britons are expected to limit their spending in 2022.

With inflation still at record highs, even deep discounts might not be enough to entice some shoppers to spend the cash.

Town centers and shopping malls outside the city are completely cut off from rail transport throughout the day, triggering warnings about severe traffic congestion.

All rail services have been canceled in response to the latest walkout by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT).

Hundreds of services usually operate on Boxing Day, but railway bosses have decided to shut down the network altogether.

The Center for Retail Research estimates the cost of rail and postal strikes to businesses could be as high as £1.5billion for the run-up to Christmas and up to £1billion for January sales.

People line up in front of a store

The cost of living crisis and transport problems are expected to contribute to a poor sales period for the high street (Picture: SWNS)

Deliveries are being affected by industrial action by members of the Communications Workers Union (CWU), and it is thought this could deter people from ordering online.

A separate study by Barclaycard Payment found that Britons could spend 4% less on Boxing Day and during the post-Christmas sales, but were more optimistic about the industry’s outlook.

A survey has found the average shopper intends to buy £229 worth of items during the post-Christmas sale period, down £18 from 2021.

Some companies should still do well, especially the personal technology sector, the most sought-after type of product in this type of year.

Harshna Cayley, Head of Online Payments at Barclaycard Payments, said: ‘The rising cost of living and inflationary pressures have naturally had an impact on the amount spent on post-Christmas sales this year.

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“That said, retailers can have confidence knowing that shoppers are always planning to make the most of the deals and discounts on offer.”

The research found that increasingly popular resale websites could be among the big winners this year.

More and more of us are turning to websites like Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, and Debop to offload unwanted freebies.

According to the survey, about three in 10 are expected to resell something they received this Christmas.

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