The city’s retail industry was given a Boxing Day boom as shoppers were out in force looking to bag some bargains.
There were queues outside major shops and department stores, including Harvey Nichols and Marks and Spencer, as well as lingerie fashion favourite Victoria’s Secret and cosmetics firm Lush where fans queued for an hour and a half before the doors opened at 10.30am.
Although retail experts said it is too early to tell what the Christmas cashflow means for the city economy - which has seen the city move to third in the UK’s best places to shop retail rankings - early indications are that it is still soaring.
James Bailey, manager at Victoria Leeds, said there had been a trend this year for splashing out on indulgent and higher priced presents, rather than volume gifting.
He said: “The sale of accessories and health and beauty brands has been strong in the run up to Christmas. It’s too soon to have the official figures or reports, but judging from first hand experience and previous years – we knew Boxing Day would be a busy one.
“With fantastic bargains and offers to be had at retailers throughout the malls at both Victoria Quarter and Victoria Gate, I think it’s likely we will see strong sales figures and a successful Christmas for retailers.
“With John Lewis reopening for trade, and the sale starting today, we expect another busy week ahead with a positive start to the New Year.”
Thousands of Boxing Day bargain hunters flocked to the Trinity Centre spending on gift cards that had been bought as presents including one couple who had travelled especially from Mirfield.
Dan Wharton, marketing manager, said: “It’s an incredibly busy time of year for us, with thousands looking to bag a bargain in our fantastic Boxing Day sales.
“Many of our 120 brands took part, offering discounts and deals from fashion and beauty to shoes and sportswear.
“We recently re-launched our gift cards and these were a really popular purchase in the run-up to Christmas, so lots of shoppers have been using them in the Boxing Day sales.”
National research by Barclaycard predicted that one in three people, 34 per cent, would go sales shopping. This is up 23 per cent from last year, it added.
Designer brands and bagging bargains
The boxing day sales saw people splashing out on designer brands as well as bagging the bargains.
In Victoria Gate, designer shops Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein slashed prices by up to 50 per cent while other home and lifestyle brands Joules and Neom were also offering up to half price off certain products. Marks and Spencer was carrying on its half price sale which started before Christmas and in the Trinity Centre, clothing retailer River Island went one up with 60 per cent off.