Desperate retailers have launched an unprecedented wave of pre-Christmas sales in a final bid for shoppers.
Some of the High Street’s biggest names were offering discounts of up to 90 per cent last night as they fought to end a woeful year on a high note.
They are counting on shoppers to spend a predicted £1.7billion on last-minute Christmas presents today, which has been dubbed ‘Super Saturday’.
Retail revenues have plummeted this year – with around £17billion wiped off the share prices of the country’s biggest shops – and more stores are expected to go bust in 2019.
Retailers have been offering discounts of up to 90 per cent last night in an unprecedented wave of pre-Christmas sales. (Stock image)
Analyst Richard Hyman said: ‘This is unprecedented. The level of discounts, the number of retailers with sales, and the proportion of their stock on offer are all at record levels.
‘I’ve never seen as much activity as this before – it’s a statement of desperation.’
The biggest discounts on offer are at Sports Direct, owned by billionaire retail tycoon Mike Ashley, where prices have been cut as much as 90 per cent.
House of Fraser and Topshop have both slashed prices by 60 per cent, and Debenhams by 50 per cent.
Electricals store Currys PC World has cut 30 per cent off its prices and the furniture firm Made has 40 per cent reductions.
Internet retailers have also joined in the frenzy, suggesting they too are struggling. Web clothing retailer Asos has cut prices by 50 per cent and rival online fashion firm Boohoo is now offering a 70 per cent sale.
The biggest discounts on offer are at Sports Direct, where prices have been cut as much as 90 per cent. (Stock image)
House of Fraser and Topshop have also cut prices by 60 per cent, in a final bid for shoppers. (Stock image)
£17billion wipeout on High Street: Little festive cheer for retailers hit by brutal year
By Hugo Duncan and Matt Oliver for the Daily Mail
Billions of pounds have been wiped off the value of leading shops in a brutal year for the High Street.
The FTSE 350 general retailers index – which includes household names from Marks & Spencer and Next to Debenhams and Dixons Carphone – has fallen by 27 per cent in 2018.
Asos and Boohoo – online fashion retailers not included in the index – have also suffered, falling by 66 per cent and 16 per cent respectively.
The rout has slashed the value of Britain’s retail industry by £17billion.
Laith Khalaf, analyst at savings and investment firm Hargreaves Lansdown, said: ‘Consumers are spending more on experiences rather than products, and when they are making purchases, they’re increasingly doing so online rather than wandering down to their High Street.
‘We’ll get a host of Christmas trading updates in January, and the hints we’ve seen so far suggests it’s not going to be pretty.’
A number of shops have launched desperate bids to win business in the last few days before Christmas by slashing prices.
Sports Direct has cut prices by up to 90 per cent, Boohoo by 70 per cent and House of Fraser, Gap, Topshop and H&M by 60 per cent.
Electronics chain Dixons Carphone, which has seen its stock fall 37.5 per cent in 2018, revealed it swung into a first-half loss last week.
And a profit warning from Asos sent shockwaves through the entire retail industry, wiping billions of pounds off the value of a string of companies in the sector as shares tumbled.
Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley told MPs that retailers risked being ‘smashed to pieces’ after a brutal November.
More than 90,000 jobs have been lost on the High Street this year and several chains have been forced to strike rescue deals with creditors.
Carpetright, shoe shop chain Footasylum, department store group Debenhams and Asos were among the worst-performing retail stocks this year, analysis by AJ Bell shows.
Carpetright has plunged 88 per cent so far this year. Footasylum and Debenhams are down 89 per cent. During the year, drinks group Conviviality went bust in March.
A Government report published on Thursday said communities needed to reinvent town centres if they wanted to save the High Street.
This would involve turning them into hubs of leisure and social services that would sit alongside shops and homes, the report by Sir John Timpson said.
Timpson, the chairman of shoe repair chain Timpson, said: ‘By helping our towns create their own individual community hub, I believe we will have vibrant town centres to provide a much-needed place for face to face contact in the digital age.’
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said companies are desperately hoping this weekend will mark a turnaround in their fortunes.
She added: ‘With consumer habits changing towards more last-minute shopping, coupled with more reliable delivery, many consumers are likely to be leaving their present and food shopping to the final moment.’
Shops rely on good Christmas trading to earn enough to get through the first three months of the new year, which tend to be the toughest for retail.
Sky-high business rates are thought to have made the problem worse by loading companies up with vast amounts of tax at unprofitable stores.
The Daily Mail is campaigning for reform of rates to level the playing field between bricks and mortar shops and online giants such as Amazon which typically pay far lower rates.
Bag yourself a blingy bargain: Top brands are slashing prices giving shoppers the chance to net bigger savings by spending more
By Emily Monckton for the Daily Mail
When the top brands slash prices, the more you spend, the more you save. So bag yourself a blingy bargain this Christmas.
We have rounded up the best and most exciting deals so you don’t have to.
Brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Armani and Burberry are slashing their prices with up to 70% off. Take a look at our list below:
30% OFF Hamleys teddy bear (limited edition Clarence bear) WAS £50 / NOW £35, hamleys.com
35% OFF Mini Maserati (electric ride-on toy) WAS £200 / NOW £130, halfords.com
30% OFF Women’s Armani watch (Diamante-faced watch) WAS £389 / NOW £276 watchshop.com
40% OFF Glanvito Rossi boots (embellished boots) WERE: £1630 / NOW £978 matchesfashion.com
40% OFF Straight off the catwalk (Dolce & Gabbana gown) WAS £7250 / NOW £4350 matchesfashion.com
30% OFF Missoni umbrella (patterned umbrella) WAS £100 / NOW £70 amara.com
33% OFF Copper bath tub (Marseille Cyprium Copper Bateau Bath) WAS £3993 / NOW £2695.50 castironbath.co.uk
20% OFF Girls Burberry Coat (Hepworth coat) WAS £949.99 / NOW £759.99 www.designerchildrenswear.com
60% OFF Crystal & Pearl tights (pearl and Swarovski) WERE £625 / NOW £250 wolfordshop.co.uk
50% OFF Prada fur hem coat (cashmere coat) WAS £5073 / NOW £2536 matchesfashion.com
50% OFF Miu Miu Sunglasses (tortoiseshell sunglasses) WERE £257 / NOW £129 harveynichols.com
50% OFF Dolce & Gabbana dinner jacket (Men’s navy velvet jacket) WAS £1600 / NOW £800 harveynichols.com
40% OFF Widescreen TV (Samsung 75in UHD smart television) WAS £2299.99 / NOW £1348 amazon.co.uk
60% OFF Cutlery set (Belleek Living 72-piece canteen) WAS £250 / NOW £99 debenhams.com
40% OFF Ralph Lauren towel (guest towel) WAS £17.50 / NOW £10.50 amara.com
60% OFF Dolce & Gabbana shoes (men’s Napoli derby shoes) WERE £957 / NOW £383 farfetch.com
40% OFF Men’s Armani watch (chunky watch) WAS £599 / NOW £359 watchshop.com
30% OFF Cufflinks (enamel cufflinks) WERE £55 / NOW £38 tedbaker.com
20% OFF Pol Roger (vintage rose) WAS £80 / NOW £64 waitrosecellar.com
40% OFF Oscar de la Renta earrings (crystal clip-on earrings) WERE £300 / NOW £180 mytheresa.com
20% OFF Prada Gloves (prada fur trim gloves) WERE £491 / NOW £393 farfetch.com
70% OFF Ceiling light (copper tone and glass lamp) WAS £2454 / NOW £699.99 tkmaxx.com