SHOPPERS in Gloucester are today hitting the Boxing Day sales to snap up a few bargains on clothes, shoes and other accessories.
Debenhams have a half price boxing day sale on and among the bargains are a women’s John Rocha designer black cotton parka jacket for £69.30 down from £99, and a Red Herring red checked bike jacket for £29.50 down from £59.
Men need not feel left out as they get themselves a Jeff Banks black plain long over coat for £112.50 down from £225 and a pair of Wrangler Texas Light Stone light blue regular fit jeans for £39 down from £65.
BHS are also offering up to 50 per cent reductions on items such as a women’s navy floral printed tunic for £10, down from £20 and men can get their hands on a navy Fairisle jumper for £16 down from £32.
At Next in Cheltenham, women can buy a stitch cardigan for £16 down from £35 and coated skinny jeans for £16 down from £36.
Men can get a quilted baseball jacket for £18 down from £36 and a light grey regular fit suit jacket for £40 down from £80.
At Marks and Spencer women can get a Per Una Embroidered Tunic Dress for £40, down from £65 and a Classic Slash Neck Chenille Jumper for £20, down from £35.
Catarina Frasca, from Linden, was in town with her daughters Georgia Godwin, 10, and Amelia Godwin, six, who were spending their Christmas money.
She said: “I don’t usually do the Boxing Day sales but I thought we’d give it a go this year.
“It wasn’t as busy as I expected it to be to be honest, the shops were fairly quiet. It was really good.
“The girls got a lot of stuff though. Georgia is at that age now where she wants everything!”
Michael Fairbrother, 17, and his friend Tyler Grant, 17, were also in town looking to grab a bargain or two.
Michael said: “It was pretty busy in the morning but it got quieter as the day went on.
“All the big shops were open but the smaller shops weren’t which was a bit disappointing. I just popped in to get some clothes. I got some good deals.”
Eastgate Street was the busiest area of the city, while some shoppers had popped in to Gloucester Quays.
Cheltenham’s Regent Arcade manager, John Forward, said that he was expecting 25,000 shoppers to pass through the centre’s doors today.
However, an estimated four million people are still expected to flock to the shops today, with more than £3 billion going through tills.
Online spending is up nine per cent this Christmas – compared with a 1.2 per cent rise instore – as shoppers hunt the best prices.
Barclaycard said shopping on Christmas Day has grown by about a quarter in the past two years.
‘The Boxing Day sales have traditionally been the day when we splash our Christmas cash,’ a spokesman said.
‘However, the relentless growth in online shopping – and ever-earlier sales – means that more and more of us are taking to the web on Christmas Day to secure the best bargains.’
Harvey Nichols, House of Fraser, Debenhams, PC World and John Lewis launched their online sales on Christmas Eve while Argos, Amazon and Selfridges started theirs on Christmas Day.
Experian said that between December 24 and 26, some 45 million hours would be spent shopping online.
James Murray, digital insight manager at the information services company, said: "Christmas 2013 has consistently outperformed 2012 on virtually every single shopping day this December, with online visits from Christmas Eve through to Boxing Day up from last year, a record-breaking Cyber Monday and the emergence of the even busier Middle Cyber Monday.
"Shopping habits are changing, with Christmas Day becoming a significant shopping day during the period.
"As a result, we anticipate a more sustained shopping pattern during this period, moving away from the traditional peaks and troughs usually evident during the holiday season."