Express & Star

Boxing Day sales: Record numbers to flock to region's shopping centres

Thousands of shoppers are set to brave the Boxing Day today, with more than ever before expected to head through the doors of our major shopping centres.

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West Bromwich High Street. High streets are expected to welcome hundreds of shoppers on Boxing Day and beyond.

Bentley Bridge, St John's Retail Park and the Mander and Wulfrun Centres in Wolverhampton along with Dudley's Merry Hill and New Square shopping centre in West Bromwich, Walsall's Crown Wharf and Saddler Centre are all anticipating bumper numbers of Boxing Day shoppers.

Stafford's Guildhall and newly established Riverside complex are also braced for the crowds as high streets up and down the region are also set to welcome a wealth of visitors each looking to get their hands on some stellar discounts.

Across the UK, the picture is even more busy for Boxing Day according to a recent survey.

About a third of Britons or 34 per cent will go to the festive sales, up from 23 per cent last year, according to Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of all debit and credit card transactions in the UK.

VoucherCodes and the Centre for Retail Research also predict the Boxing Day sales will attract more than a third of the UK's population, expecting them to spend a record £4.3 billion - a 12 per cent rise on 2016.

Barclaycard's poll found months of "feeling the squeeze" this year is resulting in many consumers looking forward to the sales to ease their budgets.

More than half of shoppers or 51 per cent are planning to spend more on Boxing Day than they did on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year.

Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard, said: "Last year, Black Friday overshadowed Boxing Day sales as many retailers struggled to maintain consumer interest in what has become a month-long discounting event.

"This year, however, value-seeking consumers appear to be more eager to buy cut-price items across both sales periods as they try to combat rising prices."

Paul Lewis, senior director of marketing at VoucherCodes, said: "While Boxing Day remains a huge sales event on the high street, it's clear that online retailers are capitalising on the spare time their customers will have on Christmas Day to browse for bargains by launching their sales a day early.

"The lack of Christmas Day trading restrictions placed on the web compared to the high street makes it an ideal opportunity to snap up bargains for those who can't wait until Boxing Day."