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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
PepePig · 28/12/2019 13:05

I think a lot of people's issues with those who get up at 5am for the sale is the way a lot of these people behave, to be honest. No one would be half as Hmm if people queued in an orderly fashion, went around the shop in a calm fashion, went through clothes gently and calmly, not making a mess, and were polite to those working.

What you tend to actually get is half the crowd doing the above, with the other half acting like feral cats. They're the reason people pity those who have to work the sale. Plenty of people start work in retail early (petrol stations, 24h supermarkets etc), but the difference is, typically, those coming in at 6, 7 and 8am in the morning are just grabbing a coffee and a newspaper. Ie acting like adults. It might be busy, but it's usually relatively calm and the shop doesn't look like a bomb has gone off within 4 minutes of opening. People aren't chucking shit on the floor and trampling it into the ground to try find a 4-5yr old top. They're typically not bunking queues, ramming people with prams or starting a fight over a handbag.

I do like a good sale, but I think there's a huge difference between buying items you'd genuinely have bought for full price/close to it anyway, and just buying stuff because it's cheap. Careful sales shopping means you'll have a wardrobe you'll get plenty of use out of for years to come. Idiotic sales shopping means you'll have tonnes of clothes, half you won't even take the tags off, and the other half you aren't fussed on, so you'll go sale shopping again, and again, and again, to replace. Pointless.

munzero · 28/12/2019 13:31


As for the poor staff - they were, and are always in my experience, happy to be there. They get “first pick” for volunteering to work it and they do shorter shifts that day on rotation so they can have time at home. I think the lady who served me said she was doing 5am-11am. I know this because I asked her after reading lots of threads on here about how awful it is to work in retail at this time of year.

I worked 2 Boxing Day sale shifts at next. First year was 5am-1pm. The year after was 2pm-10pm. No one was able to pick and choose what shift they preferred and nobody was 'happy' to be there. It's extremely stressful, hot and crowed non-stop all day. Of course staff will tell customers they're happy to be there as it's part of giving good customer service surely?

Scotmummy1216 · 28/12/2019 14:03

@PepePig ive been to many next sales and have never seen anybody behave in this way where do you live ? Hmm

Swisskit · 28/12/2019 14:20

It's just grabby. I judge people who do this, sorry.

Scarlettpixie · 28/12/2019 14:22

When DS was small I did the next sale on 27th for a few years (3 or 4) at the crack of dawn to get him clothes for the following year at 50% off.

As he got older, there was less choice and/or it didn't fit as well and/or he liked to have some input so it stopped being worth it.

Scarlettpixie · 28/12/2019 14:24

Should add, it was always pretty well organised. Queue to get in, staggarded entry (not a free for all) and people with lollypops at the end of the queues!

RufusthebewiIderedreindeer · 28/12/2019 14:39

Of course staff will tell customers they're happy to be there as it's part of giving good customer service surely?

Quite obviously

Emeraldshamrock · 28/12/2019 15:01

Of course staff will tell customers they're happy to be there as it's part of giving good customer service surely?
Not all staff hate working at Christmas. I done a 12 hour shift on St Stephens day I enjoyed it not customer facing but most callers were on top form wishing me a merry Christmas etc.
I was grateful to be off Christmas day this year.

RufusthebewiIderedreindeer · 28/12/2019 15:07

Not all staff hate working at Christmas

I dont think anyone is saying that everyone hates working Christmas

More that your average member of staff wouldn't dream of telling a customer that they hated it so its very hard to tell

PlomBear · 28/12/2019 16:24

Nope! Next used to be really good but I haven’t purchased anything from there for a decade! I’m more of a Hobbs fan now but I only ever buy in the sale and I don’t shop on Boxing Day.

munzero · 28/12/2019 16:27

@Emeraldshamrock I've never known anyone in retail be happy to work on Boxing Day 🤷🏻‍♀️

PlomBear · 28/12/2019 16:34

The children’s clothes are nice enough but the women’s clothes are very polyester heavy with awful patterns. There is an outlet store at one of the outlet villages near me and it’s always rammed and looks like a jumble sale.

Inspiralcarpetry · 28/12/2019 17:28

I worked for Next as a student, so weekends, and holiday periods, albeit a long time ago in the 1980's. Back then, they were awful employers. The sales were interesting too-they used to bring in unsold stock from up to 7yrs ago
We also had to purchase our 'uniform' (got 30% off it) which was head to toe in the current season clothes. Which would have been good if we'd been allowed to choose which clothes!
The sales were always carnage and clothes thrown on the floor/stepped on/made dirty in ways I won't describe were just put straight back on the racks! Hard, horrible work.
I left after a year to work for the Body Shop-now that was so much fun-loved it! Smile

BellatrixLestat · 28/12/2019 17:31

I used to work at next and can say the following about the Boxing Day sales (in my store anyway)

  • The majority of customers were of religions that do not celebrate Christmas, so for them it's an opportunity to save a lot of money without interfering with any celebrations.

  • A HUGE amount of the stuff sold was returned within the month. We had piles and piles in the stockroom by the end of January.

  • the staff are NOT happy to be there at 6am.
HappyHarlot · 28/12/2019 17:33

I didn't queue, but I did once go to the Next sale straight after a nightshift. I have never done it since though.

TooManyPaws · 28/12/2019 17:59

I did get a couple of Next skirts in the sale several years ago which I still wear but that was most certainly not on the first day and I haven't seen anything I've liked in there since. I might pop into Asda and Tesco tomorrow while I'm picking up my top from Asda's online sale.

RufusthebewiIderedreindeer · 28/12/2019 18:03

Oooh actually dh did once get up early to see if the chair we wanted was in the sale

It wasnt

RufusthebewiIderedreindeer · 28/12/2019 18:03

It did go in the sale eventually

Randomness12 · 28/12/2019 20:43

I’ve just had chance to catch up with this thread. For those of you referring to those of us who do attend the Next sale on Boxing Day as “savages” I have never experienced this, nor would I act in this way. I know what I’m looking for, have a rough budget and shop accordingly. I do not and have never thrown clothes on the floor, taken armfuls of stuff I didn’t want or been rude to the staff (as you’d be able to tell from my chat with the lady on the till)

And of course I’m not naive enough to think every member of staff is genuinely happy to be there. There are times throughout the year when I’m not happy to be at my own job, but if a client asked I’d tell them otherwise and accept that it is part of my role. There are weeks of the year when I am contracted to be in the office and cannot take leave for various reasons, but I knew that going into it and accept it as annoying but part of my job.

The next sale is not new. If as a member of staff you are so against working on boxing day and or Christmas Eve and it is demanded then why choose to work at Next? It’s the only shop that does the 6am sale.

Of course it’s not always a choice I understand, but for the majority surely it’s an informed decision? I’m genuinely interested.

As I said in my original post, if it opened at 10am I’d still go and if it opened on the 27th or even the 2nd Jan I’d still go. Vilifying the shoppers isn’t the way to get this changed!

user1497207191 · 28/12/2019 20:46

I now understand why there were so many idiotic drivers on the motorway at 5am-7am on Boxing Day. I saw so many women (many with kids) on the motorway that early and assumed they were just re-positioning between families between Xmas and Boxing Day. Now I realise they were on their way to the sales. It was crazy - one woman was doing 50 in the fast lane, moved over to let a car overtake her and then she moved back into the fast lane. Also loads of middle lane hoggers when there was nothing in the left hand lane for miles ahead (sadly mostly women).

user1497207191 · 28/12/2019 20:48

The next sale is not new. If as a member of staff you are so against working on boxing day and or Christmas Eve and it is demanded then why choose to work at Next? It’s the only shop that does the 6am sale.

I agree with that. I have sympathy for any very long serving staff who started working at Next (or anywhere else really) before bank holidays and Boxing day working became the norm. But most staff will have started in the last 20 years or go, and so should have known that bank holidays, Sundays, etc are part of the normal opening times and if they weren't happy, should have got jobs elsewhere instead.

Stockmarketup · 28/12/2019 20:55

Lady I used to work with did this. Bought loads of stuff without trying on, then had to go back to return what didn’t fit.
Who could be arsed? Certainly not me.

BacktoMA · 28/12/2019 20:59

@user1497207191 why were you on the motorway? Were your ovaries not dragging you to the Next sale too, firmly in the middle lane? Or were you the only person with a vagina with a plausible reason for being on the motorway?

lotusbell · 28/12/2019 21:05

@Iamthewombat, of course you can ask what you want and yes, I understand the question and that other people don't get it either but it's the manner in which you posed the question and your sneering attitude. As I said, you've already dismissed it so I dont think anyone who does this (not me, although you have assumed I do) is going to change your mind on it!

Iamthewombat · 28/12/2019 21:26

For everyone claiming that Next clothes are ‘good quality’ and that is why they have to be in the queue before dawn:

Are we talking about the same Next? It is a completely different prospect to the Next of the 1980s and early 1990s.

Back then, Next sold decent tailoring, and well-made cotton, wool and silk clothing. Plus good leather shoes and bags. It was aimed at working people who wanted substantial, good looking work gear.

Since the late nineties, Next clothes have been bobbins. I defy you to find a pure wool jacket in there, or well constructed leather shoes, or a decent leather bag. It sells the same polyester bollocks as Primark and the supermarkets, but at bigger prices. The finish is terrible. Still, that is what people appear to like.

Are you basing your ‘Next is good quality’ opinion on what Next USED to be like twenty years ago? If so, wake up.

I have nothing against cheap clothes BTW: Primark etc have democratised access to smart-ish clothing, but don’t kid yourself that the Next stuff is any better because it is priced higher. It is made in the same factories as the Primark and supermarket clothes, from the same cheap fabric. It is not better quality, and that doesn’t justify queuing outside a shop at 6 am on Boxing Day.

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