Dedicated shopaholics know that January in London can only mean one thing… SALES! Didn’t feel spoilt enough at Christmas? Fancy a new winter wardrobe? Still have money left over despite your December present splurge (or, you know, just managed to increase your overdraft)? Well, you’re in luck! From Harrods to Liberty, Selfridges and Westfield, some of the biggest department stores and shopping centres in London are cutting their prices by 50! 60! 70%!
(And yes, we are aware that the previous sentence sounds remarkably like a used car sales advert. Just run with it…)
Now, how does one describe the Boxing Day sales (even though nowadays, they tend to begin before Christmas Day)? It’s one of those experiences you have to live through to truly appreciate. Imagine someone screaming ‘fire!’ into the crowds of Notting Hill Carnival. Oh, and perhaps throw a few bulls into the mix – all of whom are fighting over that last Topshop maxi.
Sound intense? Oh, it certainly is. But, with retailers struggling through the ongoing recession, the December/January 2014 sales will be well worth the effort.
All you need before setting out is a battle plan – a combat rota designed with the sole premise of securing the best possible deal. To make sure you don’t become another casualty of the sale season, we’ve put together some top targets to hit and tips to remember on your mission…if you choose to accept it…
It’s the Mecca of all shopping destinations in London, brimming with Boxing Day sales and swarming with people from well before 6am. In other words, make sure you take our advice and GET THERE EARLY (but be sure to bring a book…you may be waiting in line for a while)! For those seeking out the flagship Topshop store, get off the tube at Oxford Circus, where you’ll also find the adjoining Miss Selfridge, Zara and Niketown. Or, if you’re out for a real bargain, Marble Arch and Tottenham Court Road stations are the closest stop to Primark, the ultimate budget fashion store. Just be prepared to use your elbows.
Selfridges: It’s the perfect place to shop for some designer accessories that you don’t exaaaactly need… but really kind of want. This famous Oxford Street department store will be catering to thousands of stylish bargain hunters, with enormous savings of up to 50% off on womenswear, accessories, beauty, furniture, childrensware, home accessories and more. Just make sure you set your alarm for the crack of dawn. Last year, people started queuing up at 4:30am! Where? 400 Oxford St. When? to 31 January. Opening time (first day)? 9.30am – 9pm. Nearest Tube? Bond St.
John Lewis: Renowned for its designer goods, jewellery and quality furnishings, the John Lewis January sale is perfect for those organising a sweet home makeover on a budget. Head to the Oxford St store from 27 December or else shop online for some sweet bargains away from the crowds. Where? 300 Oxford St. When? to end of January. Nearest Tube? Bond St.
Next: The Next flagship store on Oxford St will be one of the first to open its doors on Boxing Day morning, with sales starting from 6am. Famous for attracting dedicated shoppers, Next will offer discounts on women’s, men’s and children’s fashion, plus accessories and homewares. Where? 201-203 Oxford St. When? to 31 January. Opening time (first day)? 6am – 7pm. Nearest Tube? Oxford Circus.
Slightly (very, very slightly) less hectic than Oxford Street, the adjoining Regent St plays home too all range of both designer and high street brands in addition to the elegant Liberty department store! Come Boxing Day, it’s the ideal time to turn your window-shopping dreams into a reality.
Liberty: It doesn’t get more elegantly luxurious than the beautiful Liberty department store. In what promises to be the ultimate winter sale, superb offers and discounts of up to 60% off will be available on women’s clothing and accessories in the autumn winter range. For more information, check out the Liberty Sale Preview offering savings on designer items from Vivienne Westwood to Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen. Where? Great Marlborough St, London. When? to 31 January. Opening time (first day)? 12pm – 6am. Nearest tube? Oxford Circus.
Fortnum and Mason: This quintessentially English department store will be offering bargains galore on a range of luxury items. Between Christmas and New Year, discounts of up to 50% will be available on everything from clothing to accessories, homewares and furnishings, plus a range of hampers, confectionary, coffee, tea and fresh food. Where? 181 Piccadilly, London. When? to mid-January. Opening time (first day)? 10am – 8pm. Nearest tube? Piccadilly Circus.
The ultimate in luxury, Knightsbridge plays home to some of London’s perennial designer stores – from Chanel to Chloe and Louis Vuitton. While even the sales prices may be well out of your budget, the area is always great for a spot of window shopping (and celebrity spotting!)
Harrods: One of the most eagerly anticipated January sales in London, last year’s Harrods event was officially opened by Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden. Apparently this famous department store has not one but TWO famous faces cutting the ribbon this year…keep an eye out for updates on who it will be! Expect to spend at least a few hours exploring the discounts of up to 60% off in this multi-story Mecca. Where? 87-135 Brompton Rd, Knightsbridge. When? 27 December – 23 January. Opening time (first day)? 9am. Nearest tube? Knightsbridge.
Harvey Nichols: A veritable foodie paradise, Harvey Nichols is the perfect place to pick up some traditional British tea and gourmet treats. You’ll also find an assortment of luxury clothing and accessories from the likes of Stella McCartney and Givenchy to Marc Jacobs and Christopher Kane. Many items are marked down by 50% or more. Where? 109-125 Knightsbridge, London. When? to 31 January. Opening time (first day)? 12pm – 6pm. Nearest tube? Knightsbridge.
Westfield: At one of the biggest shopping centres in Europe you can certainly expect to find bargains galore! Westfield plays home to all range of stores, from Zara to French Connection, Jaeger, Gap and the House of Fraser. Discounts will vary by store. Where? Westfield London Shopping Centre, Shepherds Bush. When? to 31 January. Opening time (first day)? 12pm – 10pm. Nearest Tube? Shepherds Bush or White City
Canary Wharf: Canary Wharf houses a range of popular London chain stores and boutiques in its three connected indoor plazas – Cabot Place, Canada Place and Jubilee Place. A perfect option for those looking to shop away from the city-centre crowds. Where? Canary Wharf, London. When? to 31 January. Opening time (first day)? 12pm – 6pm. Nearest Tube? Canary Wharf.
Need somewhere to stay? Grab a bargain and browse our best hotels in London for a central and cosy place to spend your London trip.