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Christmas Eve start for Boxing Day sales

By Victoria O’Hara

Christmas shoppers across Northern Ireland can scoop even more festive bargains as major stores slash prices 48 hours before the traditional Boxing Day sales begin.

Leading retailers on the High Street including B&Q, Debenhams and Superdrug will be cutting prices in store and online before December 26 in a bid to get consumers spending.

The stores are launching their traditional Boxing Day sales early in a bonanza for shoppers already enjoying a heavily discounted high street.

A growing list of UK major stores have announced discounts of 50% or more in sales to start as early as 7am on Christmas Eve.

DIY chain B&Q will offer 50% off all its kitchens and bathrooms from 7am today in stores and online, with discounts of up to 75% on some other items.

John Colley, Commercial Director at B&Q told the Belfast Telegraph: “As people struggle to move home in 2009 and look instead to improve their current home for the longer term, we want them to be able to change the look and feel of their current kitchens and bathrooms in line with the latest fashions, at purse-friendly prices.

“That’s why we have decided to give our customers a head start by having our best ever sale and offering people an early Christmas present by opening our sale this year from Christmas Eve.”

Superdrug begins its online sale today. It will include reductions of different amounts on 24,000 product lines.

Until 24 December up to 50% is off selected items at Argos, both in store and online.

The store’s end of catalogue sale will also be launched on Thursday 25 December online and in store on Friday 26 December, with a variety of discounts on selected lines.

Marks and Spencer will also be beginning their sale online at 12.01am on Christmas Day. They will start their traditional sales on December 27.

At Debenhams up to 70% will be slashed off prices online from December 25 and in store from Friday 26 December.

Discounts include up to 70% off selected women’s, men’s and kids’ fashion, up to 50% off selected gifts, furniture, home and electrical items, and up to 30% off selected beauty products.

The sale will continue until early January, when it runs into Debenhams’ blue cross sale.

Fiona Wilkinson, senior vice president at Visa Europe, said: “Consumers have proven this weekend that they are prepared to postpone their shopping until the last minute in order to take advantage of the many bargains now available on the high street.”

But Matthew Sherwood, senior economist at analysts Experian, said he didn't see “too much hope” for retailers in 2009.

“I think it's going to be a very bad year for retailers and we're likely to see more announcements like we've seen with Woolworths and MFI,” he added.

Belfast Telegraph

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