1 January 2018 - Janet Bird
The importance of Boxing Day as a key trading date for retailers is gradually decreasing as more of us turn online in our quest for bargains, data suggests.
Retail intelligence organisation Springboard revealed footfall on the UK's high streets and shopping centres fell more than expected this year.
The number of shoppers flocking to high streets to secure Boxing Day sales bargains was down 5.8 percent year on year. Shopping centres saw a four percent fall, while out of town destinations experienced a two percent footfall reduction. Overall, footfall is expected to have fallen by more than four percent over the day as a whole when compared to last year's figures.
The fall is believed to be at least partly due to retailers' growing reliance on online sales, which many opted to start on Christmas Eve. This pushed online sales up five percent on Christmas Day, with Boxing Day internet sales anticipated to rise by 6.2 percent.
Despite this, many retailers still enjoyed booming sales in their stores on Boxing Day. Police had to be called to Westfield Stratford, in London, after so many people tried to get in that the doors had to be closed.
Overall, Westfield shopping centres welcomed 350,000 people on Boxing Day. Selfridges also enjoyed a bumper shopping day, taking £4 million in the first three hours of trading and welcoming 120,000 shoppers.