LONDON — Tens of thousands of bargain hunters jammed London's shopping district today to snap up televisions, china, crystal, rugs and other holiday leftovers marked down in traditional post-Christmas sales.
The City, London's financial district, was a ghost town. But department store-lined Oxford and Regent streets were crowded with parcel-laden bargain hunters.
After one of the busiest pre-Christmas shopping sprees that retailers could recall, Londoners still appeared to have cash or credit to spare. Hundreds queued up in unseasonably warm weather for hours--and in one case, days--waiting for stores to fling open their doors.
"This is the busiest we've ever been," said Catherin Dighton, spokeswoman for the Liberty & Co. store on Regent Street.
And the granddaddy of the winter sales, at Harrods department store in Knightsbridge, doesn't begin until Jan. 6.
British retailers mark down prices only twice a year, after Christmas and in August, when they are usually a hefty one-third to one-half off.