Shoppers may be waiting until January 5th to find the best sale bargains, as a rise in online shopping means a record number of items are absent from shelves because they are locked up in warehouses.
It comes after consumers were seen queuing outside shops from 3am on Boxing Day, fighting over items, and spending hours of their dayay trawling online shops, thinking they had found the ultimate deals.
As a result of an online and mobile phone shopping boom resulting in higher volumes of items being returned, more than one in five “this season” items will be absent in today’s store sales, returns firm Clear Returns has warned.
Many reduced items will not reappear back on sale until January 5th but will be heavily reduced, with extra discounts of up to 35 per cent applied, experts said.
It means shoppers who skipped the Boxing Day sales bonanza may find even better bargains than those widely advertised by stores.
On average one in three items bought online is returned, compared to less than one in five items bought in shops. Return times vary between 15 and 26 days on average, the firm said.
It comes as online shoppers are increasingly adopting a “buy now, decide later” attitude instead of braving the high street, contributing to the issue of in-season stock
A record £1.4bn was spent on online sales in the UK on Black Friday, up 11.7 per cent on last year, trade body IMRG said.
Meanwhile research firm PCA found that online sales between midnight on Christmas Eve and and midnight on Christmas Day rose by 5 per cent compared to 2016.
Vicky Brock, founder at Clear Returns, said: “This has been a record breaking year for online sales in the lead up to Christmas and there is a lot of stock either still in people’s homes or locked up in warehouses.
“We are likely to see a second wave of bargains when it all re-emerges next week. Items could well have an extra 35 per cent off existing discounts, so rock bottom prices as retailers need to shift it by then.
She added that the timing of Christmas Eve falling on a Sunday, when most warehouses are closed, would further delay items’ return to sale, with some items stuck in the system until January 5th.
Meanwhile motorists venturing out to the shops were warned to take extra care today as rain and snow may have melted and then frozen just as millions of motorists take to the roads early today.
After the Meteorological Office confirmed that its staff had officially seen a white Christmas in the UK, the first in three years, much of the country is now bracing itself for a colder snap.
An AA spokeswoman said they estimate that 11.2 million drivers will embark on journeys today, one in ten heading back to work, with the same number driving to towns and cities or out of town shopping centres to take advantage of the sales.
Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/26/january-5th-could-best-day-hunt-sale-bargains/