Major retailers are beginning their online sales even earlier this year, with M&S and John Lewis among them. We round-up the clearance sales and the bargains on offer.
M&S and John Lewis will today take the unprecedented step of shifting their online sales forward to Christmas Eve as competition among retailers intensifies.
Online sales have crept forward in recent years as the number of consumers searching for bargains over Christmas has exploded.
Christmas Day has been the main battleground in recent years but this year M&S will begin discounting at midday today.
It has bought "Christmas Eve sales" search advertising slots on Google (NasdaqGS: GOOG - news) in an attempt to draw online consumers along with an array of other terms shoppers are likely to be searching for today.
John Lewis , meanwhile, will start its online sale at 5pm today while Currys/PC World will follow at 7pm.
Other retailers have already launched a sell-off of stock.
Catalogue store Argos is offering up to 60pc off on selected lines, such as coffee machines, half-price toys and 40pc off some TVs. A Hitachi (Other OTC: HTHIY - news) 24 inch television has been reduced from £249.99 to £149.99.
Debenhams (Other OTC: DBHSY - news) began its sale on Saturday. It is offering up to 60pc off on furniture with a 'Paris' brown leather sofa reduced from £2,500 to £1,000. It is also offering 50pc off on a wide range of clothes and footwear and even aftershave, with free delivery.
The retailer expects “online trade to be busy, especially on Christmas Day” as the same day last year saw more than 800,000 hits on its website.
Its in-store sale, as with M&S, begins on Boxing Day. John Lewis will not offer the discounts in-store until the following day.
The store, which had a internet hit with its snowman adverts, said its most popular products were tablets, such as Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) 's iPad. Its sale will include up to 50pc off furniture.
Halfords is offering a 'web exclusive' of 10pc off everything until midnight on Christmas Day as well as clearance prices on bikes, radios and satnavs. A Garmin Nuvi is reduced from £299.99 to £99.99, plus the additional 10pc off until tomorrow. The full reduction represents a 70pc discount.
Game also started its 'biggest ever sale' today online. Among computer games, FIFA 13 was reduced from £44.99 to £35 while the price for Halo 4 was reduced from £39,99 to £25. On consoles, PlayStation's PS3 12 GBm with The Amazing Spiderman HD movie was cut to £125, saving £71, but the offer ends on Friday. Game's in-store sale starts on Boxing Day.
Christmas Day is expected to see even more shoppers go online than today. Nearly 1.5 million people are expected to log on. Searches for the best deals are predicted to peak between 1pm and 2pm as most families prepares to sit down to Christmas dinner, with new owners of iPads, tablets and laptops hitting the sales, a survey of more than 2,000 adults showed.
Last year, consumers spent £235 million online on Christmas Day alone, a rise of around 17 per cent on the previous year, and online spend tomorrow is expected to hit £307 million, forecasts by Experian (Other OTC: EXPGF - news) and IMRG showed.
Amazon.co.uk will begin cutting prices at 9am on Christmas Day, bringing forward its sale forward a day. It said Christmas Day sales from its website have more than doubled over the last five years.
Moneysavingexpert said it had heard rumours that Next , which offers one of the most widely anticipated sales, would start offering 50pc off from Boxing Day. The website said: 'Previous years' sales have seen all sale items reduced by 50pc, both online at Next (Other OTC: NXGPF - news) and in-store.'
• Amazon.co.uk Christmas Day will see clearance offers and limited-quantity ‘lightning deals’, offering up to 80pc off select Amazon ‘apps’, HD TVs reduced from £230 to £140, and 50pc off items such as desk lamps.
• John Lewis The clearance sale starts online at 5pm today (Christmas Eve) offering up to 50pc off thousands of products, including £1,200 sofa beds reduced to £840, crystal-studded sandals down to £29 from £99 and a two-seater sofa reduced from £750 to £525.
• Debenhams the largest sale in the store’s 200-year history started on Saturday with up to 60pc off furniture and beds, up to half price party dresses and jewellery and up to 50pc off Designers at Debenhams handbags.
• Harrods the online sale is offering more than 50pc off selected women’s dresses and men’s jackets, £1,299 silk bedding sets down to £649 and selected perfumes and fragrances at less than half price.
• Argos the end of catalogue clearance sale is already under way, with half price offers on hundreds of toys, up to £150 off laptops, and up to 50pc off large screen TVs.
• M&S the online sale begins at noon today (Dec 24).
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