There’s nothing that creates a big shopping frenzy as a big red sign that reads ‘sales’. As London’s shop windows are filled with sale signs, it means it’s the time of the year to grab a bargain. Make the most of the discounts that many London stores have on offer, which offer up to 75% off, including many designer names.
London’s sales provoke bargain hunters to come out in their masses. Super-keen shoppers are known to camp outside larger department stores, and the crowds can be as busy as the London Underground during rush hour. Even though many sales will have begun on Boxing Day (and, this year, London mirrored the Black Friday sales frenzy of the US), do not fear: you can still turn up in January for tempting bargains.
If you thought sales were dull, think again. The Harrods sale is a glamorous affair with glitz and glamour and plenty of celebrity status. (Previously, the celebrity who opens it would arrive on a white horse and open-topped carriage).
For designer goods at a heavily reduced price, head to department stores from John Lewis to House Of Fraser, Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City have over 500 stores taking part. As for Selfridges, they are always trying to find playful ways for us to justify spending just that bit more: in 2007 its posters proclaimed ‘I shop, therefore I am’, and last year they said ‘I didn’t find it, it found me’.
So, before you go out on your odyssey, we have a few tips: if you are unsure about an item, ask about the returns policy; and, most crucially, if you see something you like, pick it up, as it maybe gone when you come back. Go on, bag that bargain!
For bargains both in January and all year round, canny Londoners head to outlet stores. The real Mecca for designer bargain hunters is outside London altogether, just north of Oxford. Bicester Village brings together 130 brands including Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Armani and Jimmy Choo.
See more information on London's shopping here.