Boxing Day: the day my colleagues and I dread all year is finally over for another 364 days. It being a public holiday, transport was significantly down so I had to entrust my journey to my TfL foes, buses. Although my first one was late, I managed to get to work on Regent Street on time. Calling in sick today was warned against with the penalty of an official warning. As my bus was swishing along Oxford Street, my gaze did its utmost to avoid falling upon the queues stretch outside Selfridge’s.
Officially, Burberry was meant to open at 0930 but we were sales associates were ready, and the queue of fashion pilgrims was stacked outside, so the GM ordered our doors swung open at 0920. The first pilgrims were torn as to where to first turn to, fearing the wrong decision might result in their praying hands not receiving the answer they had hoped for. From open until 1900 the sale area of the men and women’s ‘Brit’ collection as well as accessories resembled the panic scene of a supermarket following the announcement of a food shortage. At least the final opening hour was relatively subdued which allowed my team to repair the VM damage from fashion craving claws. Our stock was devastated: our usually rammed Haymarket check stockroom was sparse, whilst the wallets and scarves were literally reduced to that which sat on the shop floor. “Good opportunity to dust the shelves!” the store GM wittily remarked. No doubt our heroic stockroom team will have this drought watered over the course of this evening.
Shopper numbers this year were on a par with last year but there appeared to be fewer bags leaving the store. Hopefully, this means purchases are being considered more carefully and will result in less returns and or/exchanges in January. The other trend I noted was how our pilgrims were almost exclusively Chinese and Arab. British and Europeans made a significant proportion last year but barely any could be seen today. Clearly the UK’s studying and visiting Chinese population has cottoned on the post Christmas consumer frenzy that is Boxing Day, but I am not sure why there should be a decline in interest from our local market. I would like to think that we Brit’s realise how gross it is to be shopping after the biggest day of giving but it might be a sign that our economy is recovering and our wallets healthier so the need to shop at reduced prices is smaller.
The demographic of our shoppers may have adjusted this year, but after ten plus hours on my feet and two shifts pushed together later I am just as tired as one year ago. Time my ‘Risky Red’ (from 17) painted nails claw at some of the food parcels my thoughtful family and friends have left for me to restore my famished stomach over this retail gorge.