Wednesday, 23 December 2009
Boxing Day is a bank holiday or a public holiday in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany, Greenland, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and countries in the Commonwealth of Nations with a mainly Christian population.
Boxing Day is a secular holiday but is always on 26 December: the public holiday is generally moved to the following Monday if 26 December is a Saturday. If 25 December is a Sunday then both the Monday and Tuesday may be public holidays. However the date of observance of Boxing Day varies between countries.
In Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and some states of Australia, Boxing Day is primarily known as a shopping holiday. It is a time where shops have sales, often with dramatic price decreases. For many merchants, Boxing Day has become the day of the year with the greatest revenue.
Many retailers open very early (typically 5 am or even earlier) and offer doorbuster deals and loss leaders to draw people to their stores. It is not uncommon for long queues to form early in the morning of 26 December, hours before the opening of shops holding the big sales, especially at big-box consumer electronics retailers. Once inside, the shoppers often rush and grab, as many stores have a limited quantity of big draw or deeply discounted items. Because of the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, many choose to stay home and avoid the hectic shopping experience. The local media often cover the event, mentioning how early the shoppers began queueing up, providing video of shoppers standing in line and later leaving with their purchased items.
The Boxing Day sales have the potential for customer stampedes, injuries and even fatalities. As a result, many retailers have implemented practices aimed at controlling large numbers of shoppers, most whom are typically irate due to the cold (or, in Australia and New Zealand, hot) weather, and anxious for bargains. They may limit entrances, restrict the number of patrons in a store at a time, provide tickets to people at the head of the line to guarantee them a hot ticket item, and canvass lined-up shoppers to inform them of inventory limitations.
But this year Boxing Day sales start on Christmas Eve
Retailers are launching their Boxing Day sales on Christmas Eve on the internet, to take advantage of the millions expected to shop online over Christmas. Only in UK more than 4 million people are expected to log on to the internet and make a purchase on Christmas Day itself, according to the online trade body IMRG, spending more than £100 million on December 26.
Church leaders and family charities have complained that consumers are not prepared to have at least one day off from shopping during the year, but retailers argued internet shopping is no longer an anti-social past time.
And what do you think about boxing day?