'Alarming': Covid-hit retail industry fears loss of Boxing Day sales

Visitor numbers to UK stores a third less than 2019 and it is unclear Christmas holidays will bring boost

Tougher coronavirus restrictions have dealt a fresh setback to struggling city centres, with Christmas shoppers staying away as doubts increase about whether the Boxing Day sales – the next big event in the retail calendar – will be allowed to go ahead.

The prime minister this week urged shoppers to “think carefully about avoiding crowds in the Boxing Day sales”. Billions of pounds are usually spent on what is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, although shops in Wales and Northern Ireland have already been told to close.

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