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Are you one of those people who queues for sales at 6 am? Confess, and tell me why.

260 replies

Iamthewombat · 28/12/2019 00:37

I’ve seen a number of threads on the subject of ‘all shops should close on Boxing Day, blah blah’ but what I want to know is this:

If you are one of those people waiting outside shops on Boxing Day at 6 am (or earlier), why do you do it? The bargains can’t be that good.

We visited friends in Liverpool today and they showed me photos in the local paper of people queuing outside Next at 5.30 am, outside Lush at 6 am etc.


The paper had interviewed some of the queuers (is that a word?). Their reasons were as follows:

Woman outside Lush: “the gift sets are 50% off so I can get £400 worth for £200!”

Sorry love, they aren’t going to last until Christmas 2020. When I assume you will attempt to re-gift them.

Women outside Next: “It’s a tradition for us and we come every year but we are trying to buy less because we are worried about the environment” (!!!!! I wonder if Next sell self-awareness?)

Genuinely, why do you do it? Is it because you are trying to recreate the Blitz spirit? Is it so that you have something to talk about?

I’d kind of understand if it’s a young person who is label-conscious and wants to snag a particular designer brand from Flannels or Harvey Nics and can only afford it in the sale but Next and bloody Lush? Come on! Neither are a motherlode of sought after quality items at drastically reduced prices, are they?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

dementedma · 28/12/2019 09:39

I love sales and bargains but seriously couldnt be arsed getting up at that time of day. Wandered into M&S yesterday early afternoon and picked up a skirt and trousers for work,50% off. No early morning queuing required.

Pilot12 · 28/12/2019 09:41

When I was single I used to spend Christmas Day alone, go to bed early and get up at 5am for the Next Sale. It was only a 20 minute walk from my flat as I lived in a big city centre.

You had to know what you wanted and grab it quick because all the good items would be gone within ten minutes. The store would be full of Muslims (and other religions) with bundles of money to spend because they don't celebrate Christmas so they had all the money they didn't spend on presents to spend.

Then I'd get a coffee and wait for the other stores to open. Go early you get the best stuff. I'd head home, money spent by 11am while people were just starting to arrive.

I live in suburbia now, a long way from any shops, I don't drive and have two small children so those days are now over!

dottiedodah · 28/12/2019 09:47

I remember my Nan in the 60s queueing up outside Selfridges ,for a new winter coat/bargains.She would get up early with flask/sandwiches ,and get the first tube to Oxford street. Wait outside in the cold ,and would be back a few hours later with her "haul"! I think there are some bargains ,and appreciate Mums wanting /needing to get discounted items for kids .But I dont think I would want to be getting up at 6! Went to M and S about 9 30 yesterday morning ,got a super Per Una padded coat with hood, down from £99.00 to £48.00.Well pleased!

Nomorepies · 28/12/2019 09:53

This reply has been withdrawn

This has been withdrawn by MNHQ on the poster's request.

Billben · 28/12/2019 09:59

Wouldn’t be seen dead queuing in a sale for anything at any hour, let alone 6 am😀

Sagradafamiliar · 28/12/2019 10:00

Some people want to grab some bargains
Others would rather stay in bed and enjoy a lie-in. There's nothing more to it!

Cremebrule · 28/12/2019 10:01

I did it one year as I had just started a grad scheme and needed new clothes for work. It was grim and I’ve never done it again since. The stuff in next was hard to see and it was rammed with sharp elbowed women with massive baskets of stuff. People were just pulling stuff down from the rails without really looking at it. I remember going to the nice and empty M&S and getting stuff in there instead.

Yetanotherwinter · 28/12/2019 10:03

I’ve not bothered with the next sale for years. They just put out all the shite that they’ve not managed to sell in the year. It’s absolute tat. The only part worth looking at is the furniture if you’re looking for something in particular.

PepePig · 28/12/2019 10:11

I think it's pathetic tbh. Anyone who gets up at 5am and trashes a shop looking for a bargain needs to grow up.

NorthernLightsInWinter · 28/12/2019 10:17

I have never been shopping on boxing day.

But the snobbery and open mocking of people who do is quite nasty on here. I know a lot of people who work in childcare, as TAs, as young teachers, nursery nurses, young nurses, in retail, etc ... they don't make much ... and this is one way for them to acquire decent, durable clothes for their children for the coming year and work clothes for themselves at decent prices. i think lots of people forget that people in poorly paid jobs are still required to maintain a certain level of dress at work.

pomegranatefizz · 28/12/2019 10:23

Some people are disgustingly judgemental! Fine don't do it yourself, and don't understand why others do but calling people stupid and savages is just vile.

I used to do the 5am Next Sale when I was in my early twenties. Me and my best friend would go. She was a single (full time working!) parent who wanted to get decent quality kids clothes. And I was single and often back home alone on Boxing Day and it was just a fun way to start the day and pick up some relatively decent clothes for a good price. It's 4/5am I'm sure many people have been up at that time for various reasons, it's not like people are travelling to the moon!

I haven't done it for about 10 years as my personal circumstance and personal tastes have changed and I don't need/want Next clothes any more. I also found it started being mainly just the kids clothes that were good and the adults stuff did start to be things that hadn't even been in store. Back then though it was that years lines all at a minimum of 50% off.

hammeringinmyhead · 28/12/2019 10:25

The thing is, there are Next Outlet shops now, all year round. A lot of the stuff is made cheaply for said outlet, but not everything. I just go there for baby clothes - you can get t shirts for about £2.50.

WeshMaGueule · 28/12/2019 10:28

Where would you find a skirt for work for less than £15?

Charity shops / second hand / ebay / clothes swaps?

AlpacaGoodnight · 28/12/2019 10:29

I couldn't be bothered but quite a few friends do the NEXT sale. If I want any bits for the children I sometimes go a few days later as my local tends to have the sale going a few days and keeps bringing out more stock. The ones I know who go are not short of money but seem to be obsessed with doing it, no idea why! I do know some other families who don't celebrate Christmas but treat themselves to loads in the sales which makes sense to me but they are the ones who queue at 5am!

ShouldI101 · 28/12/2019 10:31

I went once in my early 20s because I was still out drinking at 5am and decided it would be fun.
The shop was so busy once we got in but luckily we found a few rails with hardly anyone at them and bought loads of things in our size. When I'd woken up and sobered up the next day I realised that I had bought 12 maternity outfits instead of normal clothes. Haven't been to the sales since.

Dowser · 28/12/2019 10:35

Hilarious should101 😂

DisgruntledGuineaPig · 28/12/2019 10:37

Its such a devide between those who see shopping as a leisure activity and those who see it as a means to an end - purely to get stuff they need/want.

I dont see shopping as a leisure activity, so it doesn't appeal at all. The idea of getting a bargain does, so would shop on line, but going would be a chore, not fun.

However I am perfectly capable of seeing that other people might enjoy the act of going early to do a special version of their "hobby".

They aren't any more pathetic than people who get up before dawn foe a boxing day bike ride or trip out doing any other hobby.

There does seem to be a shame attached to admitting shopping and clothes are a hobby, even though a huge amount of people do seem to spend their free time going round the shops or consider a day out shopping to be a treat.

However, for the poor staff, I dont see why if the other shops open at 9:30 they couldn't start it at 8am. It would still be dark and have that excitement while meaning the staff didn't have to get up so early to get to work they missed out on Christmas evening.

The 6am start does make me think that Next must be a terrible employer.

NorthernLightsInWinter · 28/12/2019 10:45

Where would you find a skirt for work for less than £15?

Charity shops / second hand / ebay / clothes swaps?

Sure, for people with lots of time on their hands who can browse random assortments in random shops full of random stuff. Time consuming and inefficient for most people struggling to work for low wages and do all the home/childcare things. And that's even assuming decent charity and secondhand shops exist nearby where people can get to easily, park, etc.

At least people know what they're getting in the sales in a store like Next: they know what the sizes are like, they know what fits and what doesn't generally, and they can shop for it in a short amount of time.

Goatinthegarden · 28/12/2019 10:45

I totally get why you would go to a sale to stock up on clothes for a fast growing child.

A pp said they got £1000 of FatFace for £400. The average dress is about £50 full price. I wouldn’t want to spend £400 getting approx. 20 things all at the same time from the one brand, even if it was a bargain.

When buying for myself, I appreciate it much more if I get just one or two things at a time. I take time to choose something I think is really lovely, fits well and I’ll actually wear over and over. If I find that in a sale, then bonus, but if not that’s ok too.

If I needed to be shopping in a sale to save money, I’d still limit the number of items I was buying, there will be other sales.

isittheholidaysyet · 28/12/2019 10:45

I did do next sale on boxing day for a few years, but at 9am, when they still had loads of stuff left.

Why? Because it meant we could afford next clothes for the kids. They had some lovely t-shirts and jumpers. 50% off put them into our price range. The quality meant they could passed down through my kids, on on to my nephew.
Our usual primark/supermarket clothes don't always manage that.

Scotmummy1216 · 28/12/2019 10:47

I went to Next sale (wasnt a que at mines), had vouchers to use and pretty much bought both my daughters entire wardrobe for less than half the price. It wouldn't bother me if it was the 27th they done them i think they should close boxing day they probably would get more custom on 27th. I got 115 worth of stuff added up would be way over 300 pounds worth of clothes. Also benefit of having two girls means i can keep older sizes for younger one too. Went this year as had it off, im a nurse so often working christmas day/boxing day etc.

OpportunityKnocks · 28/12/2019 10:51

Load of snobby comments on here. Are you feeling better about yourselves for judging people so harshly for getting up an extra hour or 2 earlier for a little thrill?

Firstly, the 'queue' I join 5 minutes before opening is actually just orderly waiting. Everyone goes straight in. I get to the till within 15 minutes and I'm home 10 minutes later. So I'm gone no longer than 45 minutes to go to the next sale.

Sales is always stuff that nobody wants full price, that's the point of a sale. So they knock the proces down to make them much more attractive, because the price point was not great originally. So something that cost £10 originally is cut to £5. I'd have paid £7.50 for it, but didn't think worth £10. But for a 5er, yes please!

And as for the 'consumerism' comments, so judgemental. A lot of mine and my childrens clothes are second hand. It's getting harder to get second hand clothes for kids that aren't totally worn out as they get older. Add a new t shirt to a tired pair of well used joggers and it gives those joggers a bit more life.

I could afford full price and brand new if I wanted to, but my children are dressed well with what we get between second hand, next sale plus the odd top up in the year and I can use our money elsewhere.

It's simply a case of getting up 1.5 hours earlier on 1 day in a whole year. There's none of the frantic elbowing the papers like to portray, no long queues, it's all quite calm. In fact it's the easiest shopping as there aren't any other shops open so the high street is empty and parking on the street outside. Its worth it.

IceCreamAndCandyfloss · 28/12/2019 10:55

Who cares if other people want to get up early to shop? It’s not hurting anyone and all helps the economy.

Yes some staff will have to work but work pays the bills.

BacktoMA · 28/12/2019 10:56

@Goatinthegarden that was me that said that, I had lost weight (about 2 dress sizes) and basically bought a whole new "basic" wardrobe. Several pairs of jeans, long sleeved Breton tops, plain coloured jumpers, hoodies, pyjamas, underwear, slippers, dressing gown, couple pairs of boots. Full price in fat face was £1000 and I paid about £400, a year down the line it all looks new still as Fat Face is good quality (in my experience) this year I've only spent about £150 buying a few bits for the children and a couple things I like. So that's why I bought such a large amount from one shop last year, I wouldn't do that every year!

Loveislandaddict · 28/12/2019 11:04

In the past, you only got sales in January and July, so then I can understand why people got up early. Clothes weren’t discountered any other time of the year, and people used to do the year’s clothes shopping in one fell swoop.

Now with online shopping and sales throughout the year, there’s no need, even though the discounts are better. In the past, you only got 50% discount at the end of the sale, and 70% and 90% off were unheard off.

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