BOXING DAY SALES: Thousands of UK shoppers queue up from midnight

Newcastle – VIJAY SHAH via ED RILEY and Mail Online/Daily Mail

Today sees the launch of special Boxing Day sales promotions on high streets and shopping centres across the United Kingdom, with thousands of keen bargain hunters said to be queuing up outside shops from midnight in some places, reports the newspaper Daily Mail.

Ahead of an expected bumper day of GBP 4.75 billion flowing through the tills of Britain’s retailers, reports came in from Newcastle and Birmingham of massive queues in the dead of night, when most people would be sleeping off their Christmas roast dinners. In the northern city of Newcastle, shoppers were seen sitting on the pavement, huddled in blankets and decked in warm clothing.

In Newcastle, around 2,500 shoppers formed a queue at the Silverlink Retail Park, eagerly awaiting the opening of the Next superstore, which sells clothes, at 6 A.M. Next issued 1,300 tickets per shopper, as many as the store could legally contain, yet a 1,000 more will still waiting outside in the bitter north English cold. The store is reducing some of its lines by a hefty fifty per cent especially for the 26th of December.

 

One shopper told the Mail: “We ordered pizza at 3am to warm ourselves up.

‘Some people might think it’s extreme to wait for five hours for a shop to open, but we don’t want all the best deals to be gone by the time we get inside.

‘I am sure it will be worth it!’

Large early morning queues were also reported in Manchester’s Trafford centre. Across the country, many shoppers took their queue positions from as early as 12 or 1 AM, it was reported. Queues stretched around the block, with hundreds of participants.

Out of the projected £4.75 billion spend today, 3.71 billion is expected to come from purchases at physical stores, with the remaining £1.04 billion coming from online sales, according to research published by the Centre for Retail Research in tandem with Vouchercodes, a UK shopping discount website. Research from credit card company Barclaycard supported the Centre’s own findings, stating that that four in ten UK adults plan to shop in the sales over the Boxing Day period, anticipating an average spend of £188 each. Boxing Day is the most popular day to shop during the Christmas sales period, according to Barclaycard, with three in ten Britons planning to hit the sales on December 26 specifically.

Professor Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research, said: “Boxing Day was the biggest spending day ever last year, and will be bigger again this year.

‘Spending of £3.7billion in stores and a billion online will be so high because shops and customers keep saying that almost all shoppers will focus on day one of the sales, to get the best deals.

‘Research also shows many shoppers will spend all their money in one go, unlike a few years ago when people would go to the sales several times over a week or two.

‘Now it’s a Black Friday-style rush on the first day.”

The operations director for major shopping centre owner intu, Gordon McKinnon, added: “The Boxing Day bonanza will see many shoppers brave early morning winter weather to have first pick of the bargains.”

Konrad Kelling, managing director of customer solutions at Barclaycard, said: “Whilst most plan to spend Boxing Day with friends and family, Brits also don’t want to miss out on the best deals to be had.

‘Surprisingly, men plan to spend more than women in the sales this year – whether that be staying up late to buy that must-have item or even browsing online during the family festivities.”

Kelling also acknowledged that not all shoppers were prepared to go to the extreme length of waiting in the hours of the early morning in freezing conditions, adding: “Boxing Day remains the most popular day to shop for bargains over the Christmas period. However, this year the majority of consumers plan to shop online from the comfort and convenience of their own home rather than braving the winter weather and crowds on the high street.”

The British high street industry has suffered numerous setbacks over the past year, with significant store closures and collapses of some famous high street names, as more people opt to shop online. Though the record-breaking Boxing Day sales of 2018 could temporarily halt this decline, many store managers and CEOs are still feeling uneasy about the future of the big chain store in the face of online competitors.

SOURCES:

Sherrie Bachell/Facebook.

“The biggest Boxing Day sales ever! Thousands of bargain hunters queue from MIDNIGHT at shopping centres across Britain as they try to beat the rush ahead of £4.75BILLION festive spending spree” – Ed Riley, Mail Online News/Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group/Associated Newspapers Ltd (26 December 2018) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6529703/Thousands-bargain-hunters-queue-MIDNIGHT-ahead-Boxing-Day-sales.html?ito=social-facebook

IMAGE CREDIT:

“London December 24 2016 (17) Sale Starts Boxing Day” – DAVID HOLT, Flickr (24 December 2016) https://www.flickr.com/photos/zongo/31846107145

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FOUR MONTHS OF SNOW?: UK may see harsh winter this December

London – VIJAY SHAH via CONNOR BOYD and Mail Online

As autumn officially begins in the United Kingdom, the country has been warned that there is the chance of four months of snow, reports the newspaper Daily Mail. Experts say there could soon be the arrival of wintry conditions set to outclass even the ‘Beast of the East’ phenomenon that has gripped the nation in previous winters.

In summer 2018, the country experienced a record-breaking heatwave that lasted three weeks and saw reservoirs and rivers dry out and hosepipe bans instated. Now this winter could see weather records being broken again, this time in snowfall. Some meteorologists say the cold snap could kick in from November and extend into the first couple of months of the New Year.

 

Cold fronts sweeping from the Arctic region and the Atlantic Ocean could create a perfect storm of sustained snow, combined with the presence of the four-yearly El Niño weather system, seeing icy temperatures from December to February, according to forecaster James Madden, from the company Exacta Weather in an interview with the Daily Express newspaper. The expected cold snap could rival the ‘big freeze’ of 2010, the Mail claimed. A decline in solar activity is also expected around this winter, further exacerbating the frosty situation. El Niño may weaken the air currents which keep Britain warm, creating what meteorologists call a ‘Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW)’, which was responsible for the difficult winter of 2010.

Madden told the Express: All our long-range projections have been showing for quite some time that December is likely to be a colder than average month overall and we are expecting several widespread snowy periods.

‘This year we are expecting potentially hazardous winter conditions from early on in the season.”

However, such a scenario is highly unusual, even for the UK’s infamously variable weather, and the Met Office, which measures, studies and reports on the country’s weather, said predictions become difficult to make for longer than a 30-day period.

SOURCES:

Rabia Ali/Facebook

“Britain could be set for FOUR MONTHS of snow in ‘coldest winter for a decade’ following record-setting summer heatwave” – Connor Boyd, Mail Online News/Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group/Associated Newspapers Ltd (21 September 2018) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6194981/Britain-set-FOUR-MONTHS-snow-coldest-winter-decade.html?ito=social-facebook

IMAGE CREDIT:

“NX2961 : Winter at Kiltersan” – David Mapley, geograph (27 June 2008) http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/862525 © Copyright David Mapley and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

BRADFORD SHOOTING: Man shot three times after Friday prayers

Bradford – VIJAY SHAH via CHARLIE MOORE, Daily Mail and MIB

A man is in hospital in the northern English city of Bradford after been shot at three times after he left prayers at a mosque in the city, online British South Asian news site MeanwhileInBritain.com and national newspaper Daily Mail reported.

The unidentified man had finished Muslim Friday (Juma’ah) prayers at the Jamia Abu Hanifa mosque in Hustler Street in the Barkerend district, central Bradford when assailants wearing balaclavas shot him just a hundred yards from the mosque. The gunshots terrified other worshippers at the mosque when the incident took place at 2pm local time, MeanwhileInBritain.com said.

 

Witnesses saw three men, faces obscured, pull up on the road in a car and immediately open fire on the victim. A member of the congregation who was praying when the shooting occurred said: “I saw lots of police and a man laying on the floor who had been shot. We heard the gunshot while we were inside praying.

‘There was an ambulance and about five police vehicles including two riot vans on the scene’

‘I have been told three men in balaclavas pulled up in a car and shot a man.’

The victim, who survived the shooting but was struck in a leg was taken to hospital. Bradford police say the shooting had nothing to do with the mosque. A statement from them said: “Police were called to Undercliffe Street, Bradford at 1.57pm today following a report of gunshots.

‘Officers attended and found a male in his twenties with a leg wound.

‘The injury is not believed to be life threatening and he has been taken to hospital for further treatment.

‘Enquiries are continuing at the scene although the injury is believed to be consistent with that of a firearms discharge.

‘Anyone with information is asked to contact Bradford CID on 101, quoting log 984 of today (Friday 20 October).”

Inquiries are continuing.

SOURCES:

British Asians UK, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/BritishAsiansUK/

“Man is shot by ‘three men in balaclavas’ near mosque in Bradford” – Charlie Moore, Mail Online News/Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group/Associated Newspapers Ltd (20 October 2017) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5001624/Man-shot-three-men-balaclavas-near-mosque.html

“MAN IS SHOT BY ‘THREE MEN IN BALACLAVAS’ AFTER JUM’AH PRAYER NEAR MOSQUE IN BRADFORD” – MIB/Meanwhile In Britain/Meanwhile In UK (20 October 2017) http://meanwhileinbritain.com/man-is-shot-by-three-men-in-balaclavas-after-jumah-prayer-near-mosque-in-bradford/

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Crime Scene” – Alan Cleaver, Flickr (16 May 2009) https://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/4121423119

‘FAKE TWO PENCE’ – Rare error coin earns charity £1350 at auction

gb

Malmesbury, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via TheLADbible and Daily Mail

Poppy Appeal collectors in the English city of Malmesbury in Wiltshire county found themselves a small windfall after a ‘fake’ coin that was deposited in one of their charity collection boxes turned out to be a rare minting error that sold for £1,350 at a recent auction.

Volunteers working for the British Royal Legion were sifting through the takings from a street collection appeal for ex-service personnel when they stumbled across a 2-pence coin that was silver-coloured, instead of the usual copper. Convinced it was a badly-done fake or a joke, the Legion charity workers sent it to a bank to be destroyed.

(c) SWNS via TheLADbible

The Royal Mint, which is responsible for minting the United Kingdom’s coinage, however confirmed that far from being a criminal mastermind’s idea of a bad joke, the silver 2-pence piece was in fact an unusual minting error, caused by a blank for a 10-pence piece, usually now made of nickel-clad steel, being mistakenly struck with a die intended for 2-pence coins, so in essence, this coin was a 10-pence in the ‘clothes’ of a 2-pence. The coin, due to its circumstantial appearance in circulation and the fact that the Royal Mint rarely make such money mistakes, meant it was a highly-prized talk of the town among numismatists.

Local Legion branch chairman Richard Tilney said of the coin’s sale “The Legion has a corporate partner who sells old medals and coins, and they are going to take it off our hands for a handsome price.

The Poppy Appeal is very dear to our hearts and it would be fantastic to get the money to the right place”

The rare item was sold at auction and purchased by coin collectors’ company The Westminster Collection for £1,350, of which the Royal British Legion received £1349.98 profit on a donation of only £0.02.

According to UK newspaper Daily Mail, a similar misstrike issued in 1988 was sold in 2014 for more than £1,350 and coinage error market experts say that similar errors can sell for up to £2,000 to niche coin collectors.

SOURCES:
The LAD Bible, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/LADbible/?fref=nf
“Rare Two Pence Coin Thought To Be A Fake Sells For £1350” – George Pavlou, TheLADbible (17 June 2016) http://www.theladbible.com/articles/rare-two-pence-coin-thought-to-be-a-fake-sells-for-ps1350-170616
“The silver tuppence that’s worth a fortune: Coin dropped into a charity tin turns out to be incredibly rare 2p piece made by a ‘minting error’ (but now it can fetch £2,000)” – Euan McLelland, MailOnline News/Daily Mail/Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group/Associated Newspapers Ltd (26 May 2016) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3610452/Poppy-collectors-thought-silver-2p-coin-dropped-tin-fake-turned-incredibly-rare-collector-s-item-worth-2-000.html
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Rare Two Pence Coin Thought To Be A Fake Sells For £1350” – George Pavlou, TheLADbible (17 June 2016) http://www.theladbible.com/articles/rare-two-pence-coin-thought-to-be-a-fake-sells-for-ps1350-170616