Boxing Day

boxing_day

Le Boxing day n’est pas que le début d’une nouvelle saison sportive, mais aussi une tradition qui s’est rajoutée à une autre bien plus ancienne. Considérée comme une des capitales européennes de la mode, la ville de Londres propose des prix incroyables lors des soldes historiques du Boxing day … 

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There are various theories about the origin of this term in popular culture. In the history of the United Kingdom, Boxing Day was the day following Christmas Day when servants would receive gifts from their employers, known as a “Christmas box”. Those boxes contained gifts, bonuses and sometimes leftover food. These tradesmen and servants who used to work on Christmas Day were allowed to visit their family on that day and they could carry this box back with them. The European tradition included giving money and gifts to the needy, which is a tradition that dates back from the Middle Ages. The official earliest definition comes from the Oxford English Dictionary and describes the tradition in the 1830s in England ; this tradition was exported with colonisation and thus started in most Commonwealth countries as well.

Today, Boxing day is a bank holiday  on December 26th in the Commonwealth nations (but not in India). The name of the holiday is not the same in every country but the tradition is. Boxing day is an official holiday in those countries when there are generally huge sales and discounts in stores. Just like during Black Friday in the US (the day after Thanksgiving), retailers open really early and  offer the best prices of the year. It is an incredible day for everybody: consumers can find the cheapest prices and for a lot of merchants, this day has become the day of the year with the highest returns.

Last year has been a great year: discounts reached 70%, which lured many people in the stores: in London, at 9 am, there were roughly 4,000 people waiting for the opening of the Selfridges store. The store welcomed around 160, 000 consumers between 9am and 9pm when it registers usually only 250, 000 customers per week. Their internet sales doubled compared to last year and during the day they registered a record £2 million sales.

Boxing day sales have gone up since 1988 and the development of e-commerce has played a big part in it. According to a study from the Experian and the professional association of e-business IMRG, Boxing day internet sales have risen to £748 million (€954 million), which is 30% more than last year.

The retail business has largely taken advantage of last year’s Boxing day which ended a pretty great year in this sector for which around 10% of the population works. According to the government, this year they registered £342 billion (€436 billion) in sales, which represents about 48 billion more than in 2010.

boxing-day2

Gabrièle DELTOUR & Céline GAY

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