Boxing Day sales could be doomed this year as many shops began winter sales before the deadline. Many were afraid of new Covid restrictions.

According to The Telegraph, department stores such as Fenwick or Selfridges started major clearances. Harrods also began discounts as early as December 17 according to The Telegraph. 

Jace Tyrrell is the chief executive officer of The New West End Company, a group of central London-based businesses. He told The Telegraph that’many retailers have decided early in the year to begin their Boxing Day sales. An estimated 50% of West End stores already offer deals for visitors.

Also, Christmas Eve shopping plunged by 21% when compared with 2019, because Britons chose to shop online and avoid stores.

Christmas shoppers fill a car park at the Bluewater Shopping Centre in Dartford, Kent

Bluewater Shopping Centre, Dartford in Kent is full of Christmas shoppers

New data from Springboard revealed footfall levels in central London dropped by nearly a third (30.3%) compared with last Friday while city centres outside the capital saw a 10% fall in visits.

The day was 21% worse than 2019 for retail stores across the country, but it was still better than last year when more pandemic restrictions were in place.

It said that the UK’s high streets fared worse than its retail parks, which helped push footfall up nearly 14% over the week.

At the Silverlink Retail Park in North Tyneside before 9am people had packed the car park waiting for stores to open

People had gathered at the Silverlink Retail Park, North Tyneside just before 9am to wait for the stores to open.

According to Springboard, footfall rose by 19.6% at shopping centres, while coastal towns saw a 26.3% rise and market towns a 14.3% increase.

A spokesperson said: ‘The increased activity in retail parks today will in part be due to trips for food and grocery products as the majority of retail parks have a food store. 

“However, retailers parks have been consistently more resilient since the beginning of Covid because they are large, open spaces with large stores that make customers feel less anxious and safer.        

Much shopping this festive season has gone online due to the spread of coronavirus and the onslaught of the Omicron variant.

However, the strain seems to have less impact than other strains. This has encouraged some shoppers to return to their local stores. 

People in the village of Haddenham in Cambridgeshire queuing at dawn to pick up their Christmas turkey from the local butcher on Christmas Eve morning

Residents of Haddenham are seen queuing up to collect their Christmas turkey at the local butcher.

Christmas shoppers in Northumberland today as the government refused to rule out introducing further restrictions to slow the spread of the Omicron variant

Northumberland Christmas shoppers today, as the government refuses to exclude the possibility of imposing further restrictions that would slow down the spread Omicron variant

Christmas Eve shoppers on Edinburgh's Princes Street as they make some last-minute purchases

Last-minute Christmas shopping on Edinburgh’s Princes Street

Christmas Eve shoppers went to London's Oxford Street in their droves to make some last-minute purchases

London’s Oxford Street was packed with Christmas Eve shoppers who wanted to last-minute buys

An exterior view of the Selfridges luxury department store on Oxford Street in London

A view from the exterior of Selfridges, a luxury department store located on Oxford Street in London

Christmas Eve shoppers queue for George Bower Butchers in Stockbridge, Edinburgh, this morning for their supplies

Stockbridge shoppers throng George Bower Butchers on Christmas Eve to pick up their groceries

Christmas shoppers braved heavy rain at a Tesco outlet in Carlow town Co. Carlow as they collected last minute gifts

As they picked up last-minute gifts, Christmas shoppers endured torrential rain at a Tesco Outlet in Carlow Town Co. Carlow

Christmas shoppers on Northumberland Street in Newcastle upon Tyne

Northumberland Street shoppers in Newcastle upon Tyne, Christmas

Shoppers walk along Oxford Street on December 24 in London

London, December 24, 2012: Shoppers stroll Oxford Street.

As families realized they didn’t have enough gifts for their loved ones, the tradition of last-minute gift buying was apparent across the nation.

Fresh meats from butchers was a big hit at the Christmas dinner.

People waited in the parking lot at the Silverlink Retail Park, North Tyneside for the stores to open.

Outlets such as Marks & Spencer, Sports Direct and JD Sports were in high demand at the hub ahead of Christmas Day.

Argos was very popular as well. The catalogue shop had a line of people waiting to get into the store at the opening of the morning. 

Shoppers, some wearing face coverings, pass stores on Christmas Eve in Guildford

On Christmas Eve, shoppers in Guildford, many wearing masks or face covers, walk past the shops

Christmas Eve shoppers on Edinburgh's Princes Street today hunting for some last-minute presents for  some lucky recipient

Christmas Eve shoppers on Edinburgh’s Princes Street today hunting for some last-minute presents for  some lucky recipient

People head in to Bristol city centre to do some last-minute Christmas shopping

To do their last-minute Christmas shopping in Bristol, many people travel to the city center.

People queue outside Foot Locker in Bristol to do some last minute Christmas shopping on Christmas ever earlier today

There are people queuing outside Foot Locker, Bristol for last-minute Christmas shopping.

Christmas shoppers fill the car park at a Tesco in Ashford, Kent, as they drove to the store to try and get some supplies today

The car park of a Tesco store in Ashford was filled with Christmas shoppers as they drove into the store today to pick up their supplies

Christmas Eve shoppers queue outside the Argos store at the Silverlink Retail Park in North Tyneside for last minute gifts

Christmas Eve shoppers line up outside Argos’ North Tyneside store, Silverlink Retail Park.

Christmas Eve shoppers on Northumberland Street in Newcastle this morning looking for last minute gifts inside stores

Christmas Eve shoppers at Northumberland Street, Newcastle looking for last minute gift ideas in stores

Christmas Eve is traditionally a time for much last-minute shopping and this year was no exception. North Tyneside pictured.

Christmas Eve traditionally marks the end of the year and is a good time to do some last-minute shopping. North Tyneside as pictured.

There were people waiting to get into Selfridges department store this morning to pick up some of those last minute items

People waited in line to grab last-minute items at Selfridges departmental store.

Shoppers in Northumberland were keen to hit the streets and do some shopping ahead of Christmas Day tomorrow

Northumberland’s shoppers wanted to get out and shop before Christmas Day.

Cheese was also in hot demand in Edinburgh on Christmas Eve today as shoppers queued in the rain for the dairy treats

Today was Christmas Eve in Edinburgh, and cheese was in high demand as people queued up in the drizzle to get their hands on the delicious dairy products.

Northumberland saw many people walk through the rain to reach the shops.

London’s Selfridge’s was looking great, as people waited outside to get in. 

Many people were still out and about in Haddenham, Cambridgeshire early in order to get their local business started.

Hundreds of people waited in line at dawn for their Christmas turkeys to be delivered by the butcher. 

Edinburgh saw tens of thousands of people hit the streets to go to the shops to buy some more presents for Christmas

Tens of thousands of Edinburghers flocked to Edinburgh’s streets in search of Christmas presents.

Heavy traffic on the A40 as people relocate for the Christmas Holidays and pop out for some last minute gift shopping

As people move for Christmas Holidays, heavy traffic is expected on the A40.

Christmas Eve shoppers pack onto Northumberland Street in Newcastle this afternoon looking for last minute gifts on the final shopping day before Christmas

Northumberland Street, Newcastle is packed with Christmas Eve shoppers looking for the last-minute gifts this final day of Christmas shopping

Christmas Eve shoppers on Guildford high-street, Guildford, Surrey, head out to look for some of those last minute presents

Christmas Eve shoppers at Guildford’s high-street in Guildford (Surrey) head out to search for the last-minute presents

Fresh food seemed very important to many, with the butcher in Haddenham, Cambs, a big draw for many villagers today

Fresh food was important for most people, and Haddenham, Cambs’ butcher is a major draw for many villager today

Queues at the Windsor Farm Shop which is situated in the shadow of Windsor Castle, where the Queen is staying this Yuletide

Queues form at Windsor Farm Shop in Windsor Castle’s shadow. Queen Elizabeth II is here this Yuletide.

The story was the same in Stockbridge, Edinburgh where shoppers lined up for George Bower Butchers.

The queues were long at Windsor Farm Shop, which is located in the shadow Windsor Castle. This is where Queen Elizabeth is spending this Yuletide. 

Businesses will find little comfort in customers going to UK stores.

Boris Johnson, the government of Boris Johnson has suggested that it will impose new restrictions on Christmas in an effort to stop Covid’s spread.

Firms are left in suspense as there’s no detail on what that might mean.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s £1bn fund to help businesses hit by the rise in Covid cases, announced two days ago, has been seen by some as a signal of rules to come.