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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?

683 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
frami · 28/12/2019 11:07

I never shop Boxing Day because I knew someone who worked for Next. She had to be in the shop by 3.30am so effectively she had no time to relax Christmas Day night. Couldn't even have a drink after 6pm in case she was still over the limit when leaving for work. No one should have to do this. Start the sales on 27th. If you really need to buy the stuff on offer then take an extra day annual leave. If the bargains are real it will still be worth it.

cheninblanc · 28/12/2019 11:09

Because years ago when I was on my own with two young children I would buy a size bigger for each of them, clothing them for half the price. I don't go now but I did then to save money

LucaFritz · 28/12/2019 11:12

The buses here don't even run boxing day so why people don't wait till the 27th when everything is still on sale i don't know Hmm none of the people lining up looked very bright so doubt they've thought of that. Taxi companies must have made a fortune in my city theres little city centre parking and if the buses aren't running taxi is the only option so a lot of them must have paid £20+ just to get into town in the first place

Oly4 · 28/12/2019 11:15

Next is much better quality than primark... and the sale means people can clothe their kids for half the price. Simple really

Scotmummy1216 · 28/12/2019 11:15

@frami thats a problem with next company not the consumers if they didn't open on 26th people would go on 27th if not more people would go. Its up to the company to make that decision for it workers.

WendyMoiraAngelaDarling · 28/12/2019 11:17

My cousin and her mum used to do it. Perfectly reasonable and sensible women but for some reason they felt the need to do this. I never understood it.

Goatinthegarden · 28/12/2019 11:19

@BacktoMA it definitely makes sense if you need to start your wardrobe from scratch!

I do find myself occasionally waiting for an email from some shops like Joules to go on sale to replace basics like Breton tops. They have so many sales in a year though that I never seem to have to wait long for that email!

EmpressJewel · 28/12/2019 11:21

I'm an unapologetic sale shopper here and I have been known to queue in Next at 5am waiting for the store to open (despite arriving an hour early, I haven't been at the front of the queue).

There have begun times in my life when finances have been tight eg needing work wear after uni, moving into my first home and pregnancy/baby times. Shopping in Next meant I could by decent clothing cheaply.

I was cash poor but time rich, so queuing up at 5am hasn't been difficult,as I had no other commitments.

The problem with the sale is that you have to go early if you want the good stock as it goes quickly. Eg when I have bought suits for work, in order to get the right sizes in both jacket and bottoms.

I can't understand why people would pay full price for something that you can get half price?

Goatinthegarden · 28/12/2019 11:23

@LucaFritz none of the people lining up looked very bright so doubt they've thought of that.

How do you judge someone’s intelligence or ability based on how they stand in a line?

Taxi companies must have made a fortune in my city theres little city centre parking and if the buses aren't running taxi is the only option so a lot of them must have paid £20+ just to get into town in the first place

Those people could have been dropped off by a friend or partner. They could have walked because they live close by. They might have ridden a bike. They could have found one of the few parking spaces. They might have clubbed together to get a taxi. So many options.

ForalltheSaints · 28/12/2019 11:25

For those who get up early on Boxing Day, do you at any point in the year work weekends or evenings? If you don't, then you are being hypocritical in my view to expect shop workers to get up early on Boxing Day.

My view is that all bank holidays should have Sunday hours at least, and perhaps close non-food shops on Boxing day.

OpportunityKnocks · 28/12/2019 11:35

Yes, I work evenings and weekends a handful of times every year. I also did 6 years in retail so I'm fully aware of the sacrifices.

I make a point of saying thank you to any staff I encounter for getting up early.

RingtheBells · 28/12/2019 11:41

I can't understand them opening early so much nowadays, before internet shopping really took off I could because most people have a certain amount of money to spend and in the past you could not buy much sale stuff before Boxing Day and Next opening early meant that people spent their money in there rather than others shops. Nowadays sales seem to start before Christmas to compete with the online stuff so it all seems a little bit old fashioned. Next is quite old fashioned though because only recently have they stopped pushing the Directory (£3.95) onto people when everything is on their website anyway.

Scotmummy1216 · 28/12/2019 11:44

@ForalltheSaints yes i work weekends evenings, nights, christmas day, christmas eve, boxing day, on calls. Im a nurse and expect to work those. I also worked in retail several years back and worked boxing day every year, my partner is in retail and worked this boxing day also. Not a hypocrit here. Also don't get annoyed at shoppers its up to next big bosses to stop it and have on 27th/28th instead. If you waited till then to shop as is now you wouldn't get any baby clothes in particular.

bee222 · 28/12/2019 11:51

My DH works in fashion retail and he says the behaviour of these bargain hunters is absolutely savage

The snobbery and classism is rife on mumsnet today!

My sister goes to the Next sale with her friends. They make a little day of it and go for breakfast together. It’s the only time of year that she buys clothes for herself. She can’t afford to go at any other time (and before anyone mentions it - A trip to Primark would involve a 1 hour train journey to the nearest city)

Take your head out of your arses and stop your sneering.

BacktoMA · 28/12/2019 11:51

I don't get up early for sales but the fact I don't work weekends, BHs or evenings wouldn't stop me Hmm what weird logic. Should I not go shopping on the weekend either?

Goatinthegarden · 28/12/2019 11:52

I don’t get up early on Boxing Day and I do think staff in retail should have a choice to work additional hours and should be remunerated extra for those hours, but I also don’t think it’s the end of the world.

As a student, I appreciated additional hours of weekend and evening work because it suited me and I needed the money. It didn’t bother me and I quite enjoyed the buzz. I could also drink/party/celebrate any other night of the week!

When I worked in admin, we’d have to go into the office at 4am every day for a week and stay until about 7 or 8pm for end of year audits.

As a teacher, I often have to work hours I don’t want to, unpaid, whether that’s a Saturday craft fair or an evening disco, particularly after a full week/day of work. The last two weeks of term was insane with parties, nativities, Christmas movies, etc I stayed late in the school 6 nights out of the last 10! But the children absolutely love it, and it’s enjoyable despite the tiredness and the overwhelming desire to be drinking mulled wine elsewhere. I also appreciate that I’m currently having two weeks off.

Emeraldshamrock · 28/12/2019 11:54

It is a bit of a tradition for some my friends with DC they don't drink and love to shop.
I am always to broke on the day unfortunately otherwise I'd try it once.

busybarbara · 28/12/2019 11:56

People do it for the buzz and camaraderie. Similarly why do people go to places like Alton towers and spend five hours of the day in queues for what are not particularly edifying experiences? People enjoy the queues and the crush even if they won’t admit it

Emeraldshamrock · 28/12/2019 11:57

Plus there are huge discounts if you have your eye on a certain item in Browne Thomas you need to be there by 3am or earlier.

PatchworkElmer · 28/12/2019 11:59

I didn’t go to Next this year (had a VIP online slot), but did go the previous 3 years.

I have a small child, and I can kit him out for next year at 50% off. It’s worth getting up for as it saves us literally hundreds of pounds. I also get DH new work shirts- again, saving a significant amount.

ButDoYouHaveASleighTho · 28/12/2019 12:00

I did about ten or so years ago. Money was really tight, and I wanted decent quality clothes for the kids. It was totally worth it as I am an early riser anyway, and would be back before anyone else in the house was up.

The quality of NEXT stuff has taken a massive nosedive since then though I think, not sure I'd make the effort now if my circumstances were still the same.

helpneedshoes · 28/12/2019 12:02

As a tween/teen I loved meeting friends & heading to Oxford st on Boxing day to spend our xmas money in the sales. We would arrive at the normal time, head to Selfridges, Topshop etc & get some great items to wear out for NYE. I still have some accessories that I use now decades on. I loved fashion & shopping. I was never a Next shopper but went in once to witness the legendary sale but left after 5mins. The queue snaked around the shop so it was actually impossible to find any gems. People just grabbed bundles of whatever was closer to them.

In my 20s the idea of going shopping in the sales lost its appeal. However I am partial to an online sale purchase of something that i've waited to be reduced from the likes of NAP, Matches. Russell & Bromley.

isittooearlyforgin · 28/12/2019 12:25

Personally couldn’t be faffed, but if you don’t celebrate Christmas because of religious (or other reasons) it’s a great time to pick up bargains at a time of year that isn’t particularly special for you

billy1966 · 28/12/2019 12:27

Not in a million years

MintyMabel · 28/12/2019 12:45

cost the same as the Next gear for similar quality.

I’m a fan of Primark but there is no doubt Next is better quality.

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