Sales surge to beat increase in VAT


Shoppers at the Selfridges Boxing Day sale on Oxford Street, central London

More than half of Britons plan to hit the sales this year to take advantage of the last few days before the VAT hike comes into force, a survey suggests.

Around 55% of people said they planned to hunt for a post-Christmas bargain, with 22% saying they would probably spend more than they did last year, according to insurer Sheilas’ Wheels.

The typical shopper plans to spend just under £90 in the sales, with clothes the most popular purchase, followed by shoes, DVDs, books and CDs.

One in eight dedicated shoppers said they would even get up before it was light in order to join queues in the hope of bagging a bargain.

But 45% of people admitted they felt more guilty about spending money shopping this year than they had in previous years, while 17% said they had lied to family and friends about the amount they had spent in sales in the past.

Half of people also admitted that they have items in their wardrobe which they bought in the sales but have never worn.

Jacky Brown, of Sheilas’ Wheels, said: “The run-up to Christmas is an expensive time of year, so it’s no wonder people are so eager to rush out and spend-to-save in the January sales.

“There are amazing deals in the sales, however for every gem there’s often an unused and unworn bargain that ends up throwing money down the drain.”

Fly Research questioned 1,004 people during November.

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