Bargain hunters hit the sales in Britain

27th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Shoppers thronged London's top stores on Monday hunting for bargains in the post-Christmas sales, with former supermodel Jerry Hall helping to open proceedings at Harrods.

Mick Jagger's ex-wife and her daughter Lizzy arrived at the renowned department store in London's exclusive Knightsbridge district in a horse-drawn carriage before starting the countdown to the start of the sale.

Queues formed outside Harrods and other shops on the main Oxford Street shopping thoroughfare in central London as early as 6:00 am to grab the best offers in the clearance sales.

Shops said the most popular items were widescreen TV sets, with analysts noting a rush to purchase 'big-ticket' items before the rate of VAT, or sales tax, rises from 17.5 percent to 20 percent on January 4.

That was supported by figures for the week ending on December 25, Christmas Day, which showed sales of just over 97 million pounds (150 million dollars, 114 million euros) for the John Lewis chain of department stores, up 30 percent on last year.

With Monday a holiday in Britain, the sales rush was also on in other cities.

Tim Walley, general manager at the Bullring centre in Birmingham, central England, said: "During Bank Holiday Monday we expect to see in the region of 200,000 shoppers visit."

© 2010 AFP

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