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Tier Four Ghost Town: London lies eerily deserted with Tube carriages empty and bars and restaurants deserted the weekend before Christmas after non-essential stores were shut under harsh new anti-Covid rules

 High streets and trains in Tier 4 regions were left deserted today as all non-essential shops closed their doors - following a last-minute rush to buy Christmas presents before the rules kicked in at midnight. 

Boris Johnson yesterday revealed in a 4pm emergency press conference that a third of England - including London and swathes of the home counties - would be thrust into a brutal Tier 4 lockdown from midnight on Saturday in a bid to stamp out the 'mutant' strain of coronavirus.

The draconian bracket forced all non-essential shops to shut giving Britons just eight hours to complete their gift shopping ahead of Christmas Day.


Shoppers descended on London's high streets in their droves yesterday, with pictures showing Oxford Street and Regent Street flooded with panic buyers late into the night.

But the first day of Tier 4 was a totally different story - with the jam-packed streets of yesterday evening looking nearly deserted today.

Tube stations were equally empty this evening with barely anywhere to go with just essential shops open and travel out of the city restricted.

Shoppers keen to splash some cash were forced to go elsewhere as a handful of retailers and activities dubbed 'essential' by the Government are still allowed to open.

Supermarkets, pharmacies and petrol stations all feature on the Government's permitted list - as do the less-obvious Christmas tree retailers, dry cleaners, archery and shooting ranges and outdoor riding centres. 

High streets and trains in Tier 4 regions were left deserted today as all non-essential shops closed their doors - following a last-minute rush to buy Christmas presents before the rules kicked in at midnight

High streets and trains in Tier 4 regions were left deserted today as all non-essential shops closed their doors - following a last-minute rush to buy Christmas presents before the rules kicked in at midnight

Festive lights reading 'With Love' hang over an almost empty Oxford Street tonight 24 hours after Tier 4 restrictions came into effect across London and the south east

Festive lights reading 'With Love' hang over an almost empty Oxford Street tonight 24 hours after Tier 4 restrictions came into effect across London and the south east

Usually crowded Carnaby Street was quiet except for a few passersby. All non-essential retail shops have been forced to close

Usually crowded Carnaby Street was quiet except for a few passersby. All non-essential retail shops have been forced to close

Tube stations and high streets were equally deserted today as London went into its first day of Tier 4 lockdown, with limits on travel outside the area and almost no shops allowed to remain open

Tube stations and high streets were equally deserted today as London went into its first day of Tier 4 lockdown, with limits on travel outside the area and almost no shops allowed to remain open

The TfL network remains in operation in the run-up to Christmas while the British Transport Police say they have stationed more officers at national rail stations. Pictured: A lone passenger on the Bakerloo line

The TfL network remains in operation in the run-up to Christmas while the British Transport Police say they have stationed more officers at national rail stations. Pictured: A lone passenger on the Bakerloo line

Platforms at Kings Cross train station sit deserted following a surge of travellers attempting to flee London before it entered Tier 4 restrictions on Saturday night. The scenes were compared to the 'last flight out of Saigon'

Platforms at Kings Cross train station sit deserted following a surge of travellers attempting to flee London before it entered Tier 4 restrictions on Saturday night. The scenes were compared to the 'last flight out of Saigon'

The first day of Tier 4 saw the same streets that were jam-packed yesterday evening looking like a ghost town today (Oxford Circus, pictured)

The first day of Tier 4 saw the same streets that were jam-packed yesterday evening looking like a ghost town today (Oxford Circus, pictured)


Pictured: A woman stands on an escalator heading into the underground at Waterloo station in central London

Pictured: A woman stands on an escalator heading into the underground at Waterloo station in central London


The draconian bracket saw non-essential shops shut from midnight giving Britons just eight hours to complete all their gift shopping last night ahead of Christmas day on Friday. Pictured: Deserted high streets today

The draconian bracket saw non-essential shops shut from midnight giving Britons just eight hours to complete all their gift shopping last night ahead of Christmas day on Friday. Pictured: Deserted high streets today


Old Bond Street in London was quiet on Sunday as the capital entered the first day of new Tier 4 lockdown measures that will last into the New Year

Old Bond Street in London was quiet on Sunday as the capital entered the first day of new Tier 4 lockdown measures that will last into the New Year

Bluewater shopping centre in Stone, Kent, was almost deserted today after Boris Johnson thrust 18 million Britons into Tier 4

Bluewater shopping centre in Stone, Kent, was almost deserted today after Boris Johnson thrust 18 million Britons into Tier 4

Kent's Bluewater shopping centre was nearly empty as all non-essential stores were forced to close their doors this December

Kent's Bluewater shopping centre was nearly empty as all non-essential stores were forced to close their doors this December

Others fled Tier 4 all together for their Christmas shopping with countless Surrey locals breaking lockdown rules to cross the border to Tier 2 Horsham in West Sussex. 

People living in Tier 4 are not permitted to leave area unless its for essential travel - such as for work or medical purposes.

Pictures showed enormous crowds of people in Horsham's town centre on the last Sunday before Christmas.

Car parks were packed and countless bargain hunters - many clutching shopping bags - descended on the market town. 

Click-and-collect - where goods are pre-ordered and then picked up - and home delivery services are both still available, and there is time to get orders in before Christmas day.

Others fled Tier 4 all together for their Christmas shopping with countless Surrey locals crossing the border to Tier 2 Horsham in West Sussex. Pictured: Shoppers in Horsham, there is nothing to suggest these shoppers came from Surrey

Others fled Tier 4 all together for their Christmas shopping with countless Surrey locals crossing the border to Tier 2 Horsham in West Sussex. Pictured: Shoppers in Horsham, there is nothing to suggest these shoppers came from Surrey

New measures have closed non-essential retailers, while people living within Tier 4 areas, such as Southend (pictured) are being told not to travel

New measures have closed non-essential retailers, while people living within Tier 4 areas, such as Southend (pictured) are being told not to travel 

Southend in Essex was deserted on Sunday as it joined swathes of the south east now living under Tier 4 Covid-19 measures

Southend in Essex was deserted on Sunday as it joined swathes of the south east now living under Tier 4 Covid-19 measures 

Pictures showed enormous crowds of people in Horsham's town centre on the last Sunday before Christmas. West Sussex is in Tier 2

Pictures showed enormous crowds of people in Horsham's town centre on the last Sunday before Christmas. West Sussex is in Tier 2

Horsham's car parks were jam-packed with shoppers today as countless Britons did some last-minute Christmas shopping

Horsham's car parks were jam-packed with shoppers today as countless Britons did some last-minute Christmas shopping

Tier 2 Horsham was full of shoppers today - many of whom wore masks as they clutched their purchases on the high street

Tier 2 Horsham was full of shoppers today - many of whom wore masks as they clutched their purchases on the high street 

Members of the public queued to enter Waitrose in Marylebone, London, on the morning after Tier 4 restrictions came into place

Members of the public queued to enter Waitrose in Marylebone, London, on the morning after Tier 4 restrictions came into place

Oxford Street was jam-packed with Christmas shoppers looking to get their last-minute presents bought yesterday
Tier 4 means the same streets are deserted today
 SLIDE ME 

Oxford Street was jam-packed with Christmas shoppers looking to get their last-minute presents bought yesterday (left). Tier 4 means the same streets are deserted today (pictured)

Oxford Street saw a mad rush of shoppers who flocked to buy their Christmas presents before the city was plunged into Tier 4 at midnight

Oxford Street saw a mad rush of shoppers who flocked to buy their Christmas presents before the city was plunged into Tier 4 at midnight 


London's Regent Street was crowded with shoppers before stores closed their doors at midnight. Footage showed the mass of people

London's Regent Street was crowded with shoppers before stores closed their doors at midnight. Footage showed the mass of people

Wales was also thrust into a full lockdown from midnight last night - forcing all non-essential shops to close their doors and slashing Christmas bubbles to a single day. Pictures today emerged of a Sainsbury's supermarket in Pontypridd which blocked off non-essential sections of the store to customers (pictured)

Wales was also thrust into a full lockdown from midnight last night - forcing all non-essential shops to close their doors and slashing Christmas bubbles to a single day. Pictures today emerged of a Sainsbury's supermarket in Pontypridd which blocked off non-essential sections of the store to customers (pictured)

Clothing and Christmas decorations were among the areas cut off to shoppers at a Sainsbury's supermarket in Pontypridd

Clothing and Christmas decorations were among the areas cut off to shoppers at a Sainsbury's supermarket in Pontypridd

The clothing section in a Pontypridd Sainsbury's was blocked off to customers with a sign urging people to buy only what is essential

The clothing section in a Pontypridd Sainsbury's was blocked off to customers with a sign urging people to buy only what is essential

Shoppers keen to splash some cash were forced to go elsewhere as a handful of retailers and activities dubbed 'essential' by the Government are still allowed to open. Pictured: A shut shop in London

Supermarkets, pharmacies and petrol stations all feature on the Government's permitted list - as do the less-obvious Christmas tree retailers, dry cleaners, archery and shooting ranges and outdoor riding centres. Pictured: A closed shop in London today

Supermarkets, pharmacies and petrol stations all feature on the Government's permitted list - as do the less-obvious Christmas tree retailers, dry cleaners, archery and shooting ranges and outdoor riding centres. Pictured: A closed shop in London today

Click-and-collect orders - where goods are pre-ordered and then picked up - and home delivery services are both still available, and there is time to get orders in before Christmas day. Pictured: A closed store in London today

Click-and-collect orders - where goods are pre-ordered and then picked up - and home delivery services are both still available, and there is time to get orders in before Christmas day. Pictured: A closed store in London today

From midnight last night, Wales was thrust into a full lockdown - forcing all non-essential shops to close their doors and slashing Christmas bubbles to a single day. Pictured: A closed shopping arcade in Cardiff
But it seems not all supermarkets are blocking off sections of their store, as shoppers were seen browsing clothes, toys and homeware aisles at Tesco Extra in Cardiff

But it seems not all supermarkets are blocking off sections of their store, as shoppers were seen browsing clothes, toys and homeware aisles at Tesco Extra in Cardiff

Workers removed decorations from Christmas markets on the Hayes in Cardiff today after the country launched a Covid crackdown

Workers removed decorations from Christmas markets on the Hayes in Cardiff today after the country launched a Covid crackdown

A man walked past a Cardiff cafe with a Merry Christmas sign on December 20 after all non-essential shops were forced to shut in Wales

A man walked past a Cardiff cafe with a Merry Christmas sign on December 20 after all non-essential shops were forced to shut in Wales


Wales was also thrust into a full lockdown from midnight last night - forcing all non-essential shops to close their doors and slashing Christmas bubbles to a single day.

Pictures today emerged of a Sainsbury's supermarket in Pontypridd which blocked off non-essential sections of the store - including clothing and Christmas decorations - to customers.

Even with the last-minute rush for presents, there was a 26 per cent drop in footfall in London and the south east compared to last year.

Overall, 44 per cent fewer Britons took to the country's high streets than last year on the last Saturday before Christmas. 

Government Minister Michael Gove shocked shoppers yesterday after being spotted laden with bags in London - despite knowing about plans to introduce Tier 4 hours before anyone else.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster was photographed on Saturday wearing a face mask while walking with what appeared to be bags from upmarket department store Fortnum and Mason as he passed outside the front of The Ritz on Piccadilly.

Experts predict the UK's tills will ring with a staggering £2.5million-a-minute spent before December 22 as shoppers stack up on last-minute gifts. 

The Tier 4 announcements came as a hammer blow to many businesses - particularly retailers hoping to pick up some pre-Christmas sales at the end of a torrid year in which they had faced repeated orders to close. 

The Confederation of British Industry slammed the move as 'a real kick in the teeth', claiming many businesses 'were counting on clawing back some lost ground' over the Christmas shopping season. 

Up to £2 billion in sales may be lost per week by the new measures, it has been estimated, with the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said that the Government's 'stop-start' approach to regulations was 'deeply unhelpful'.   

Britain's Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove was pictured on Saturday carrying bags as he walked past the Ritz in London on December 19, 2020

Britain's Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove was pictured on Saturday carrying bags as he walked past the Ritz in London on December 19, 2020

Footage on London's Regent Street showed huge crowds of last-minute shoppers stocking up on Christmas presents

Footage on London's Regent Street showed huge crowds of last-minute shoppers stocking up on Christmas presents

Two people paused for a photograph while shopping on London's Oxford Street on the last Saturday before Christmas

Two people paused for a photograph while shopping on London's Oxford Street on the last Saturday before Christmas

Londoners (on Oxford Street, pictured) were given just eight hours to buy their Christmas essentials before all non-essential shops closed under Tier 4 rules

Londoners (on Oxford Street, pictured) were given just eight hours to buy their Christmas essentials before all non-essential shops closed under Tier 4 rules

Pictured: People shopping on Regent Street in central London on the last Saturday shopping day before Christmas. Boris Johnson has cancelled Christmas for millions of people across London and south-east England after scientists said that a new coronavirus variant is spreading more rapidly

Pictured: People shopping on Regent Street in central London on the last Saturday shopping day before Christmas. Boris Johnson has cancelled Christmas for millions of people across London and south-east England after scientists said that a new coronavirus variant is spreading more rapidly

Some shoppers on Regent Street wore protective face masks as they navigated their way through the huge crowds

Some shoppers on Regent Street wore protective face masks as they navigated their way through the huge crowds

Carnaby Street was bustling with shoppers eager to get their last-minute Christmas shopping done before Tier 4
As of midnight last night, all non-essential shops shut in London

Carnaby Street was bustling with shoppers eager to get their last-minute Christmas shopping done before Tier 4. As of midnight last night, all non-essential shops shut in London 

Crowds of shoppers were seen wandering down London's busy Oxford Street on December 20 - just hours before the capital was plunged into Tier 4

Crowds of shoppers were seen wandering down London's busy Oxford Street on December 20 - just hours before the capital was plunged into Tier 4

Other footage taken in London showed shoppers on the eve of Tier 4 restrictions
At midnight, all non-essential shops closed their doors. Pictured: Shoppers before the rules kicked in

Other footage taken in London showed shoppers on the eve of Tier 4 restrictions. At midnight, all non-essential shops closed their doors

Pictured: Shoppers queue outside a shop in Oxford Street on Saturday night ahead of the introduction of Tier 4, announced by Boris Johnson on Saturday evening in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus

Pictured: Shoppers queue outside a shop in Oxford Street on Saturday night ahead of the introduction of Tier 4, announced by Boris Johnson on Saturday evening in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus

The draconian bracket will see non-essential shops shut, and travel restrictions including a 'stay at home' order for Christmas Day itself - even though Mr Johnson insisted just days ago that it would be 'inhuman' to axe five-day festive 'bubbles'. Pictured: Shoppers on Saturday night

The draconian bracket will see non-essential shops shut, and travel restrictions including a 'stay at home' order for Christmas Day itself - even though Mr Johnson insisted just days ago that it would be 'inhuman' to axe five-day festive 'bubbles'. Pictured: Shoppers on Saturday night

Tier 4 will be imposed on all existing Tier 3 areas in the South East, covering Kent, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Surrey (excluding Waverley), Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings. Pictured: Shoppers in Oxford street on Saturday

Tier 4 will be imposed on all existing Tier 3 areas in the South East, covering Kent, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Surrey (excluding Waverley), Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings. Pictured: Shoppers in Oxford street on Saturday

Saturday also saw mask-wearing shoppers rush to get their Christmas dinner essentials with winding queues forming outside Costco in Manchester.

Meanwhile in Newcastle, the high street was jam-packed with locals eager to get their last-minute presents bought as online shoppers keen to avoid crowded stores put an enormous strain on postal deliveries. 

Huge queues formed along the country's high streets and supermarkets yesterday as they stocked up on Christmas essentials - though footfall was down on last weekend. 

Tier 4 will also apply in London, Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough, Hertfordshire, and Essex - excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring. Pictured: Shoppers on Saturday night

Tier 4 will also apply in London, Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough, Hertfordshire, and Essex - excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring. Pictured: Shoppers on Saturday night

Experts predict the UK's tills will ring with a staggering £2.5million-a-minute spent before December 22 as shoppers stack up on last-minute gifts. Pictured: Shoppers on Saturday night

Experts predict the UK's tills will ring with a staggering £2.5million-a-minute spent before December 22 as shoppers stack up on last-minute gifts. Pictured: Shoppers on Saturday night


Newcastle is still in Tier 3 lockdown meaning non-essential shops can stay open. The city's high streets (pictured) were bustling with Christmas shoppers today

Newcastle is still in Tier 3 lockdown meaning non-essential shops can stay open. The city's high streets (pictured) were bustling with Christmas shoppers today

Shoppers took to Carnaby Street in London last night to enjoy the last evening  of non-essential stores being open before Tier 4

Shoppers took to Carnaby Street in London last night to enjoy the last evening  of non-essential stores being open before Tier 4

In Southampton, tech-savvy buyers queued outside Currys PC World while a Kent marketplace put up signs warning pedestrians of the Covid risk in the region.

Hundreds of people were also seen queuing to get into Bluewater on Saturday night.

Video footage taken an hour after Boris' announcement showed cars queuing for miles along the A2 to get into the shopping complex, which lies in one of the areas of the country worst affected by Covid-19.

And some described scenes at the mall in Greenhithe in Kent as 'shopmageddon' and 'a nightmare' while others said it was busier than they had ever seen it.

As around 18 million Britons were told they will be put under draconian rules from midnight tonight to stop the spread of a new mutant superstrain, many made a foolish last minute attempt to purchase gifts.

Nowhere was that more apparent than Bluewater, which lies in north Kent, close to the border with south London, which has seen the emergence of a new virulent strain of Covid in recent weeks.

Pictured: Long queues of cars were seen waiting to get to Bluewater shopping centre in Kent ahead of the Tier 4 introduction on Saturday night

Pictured: Long queues of cars were seen waiting to get to Bluewater shopping centre in Kent ahead of the Tier 4 introduction on Saturday night


However, experts said there were 2.6 per cent fewer people on shop floors than last Saturday, with huge drops being seen when compared to the same period last year.

Footfall was down more than 35 per cent nationwide than on the same Saturday in 2019, while the drop off was a massive 70 per cent in Central London.

A spokesperson for retail analysts Springboard told MailOnline: 'This is undoubtedly due to the introduction of Tier 3 restrictions across most of England, as we would have expected footfall to rise on what is the last trading Saturday before Christmas. 

Countless Britons flocked to the country's high streets and supermarkets (queues outside Costco in Manchester, pictured) yesterday as they stocked up on Christmas essentials ahead of the big day

Countless Britons flocked to the country's high streets and supermarkets (queues outside Costco in Manchester, pictured) yesterday as they stocked up on Christmas essentials ahead of the big day


In Southampton, tech-savvy buyers queued outside Currys PC World. Mask-wearing shoppers were seen in a queue which snaked outside the store on Saturday

In Southampton, tech-savvy buyers queued outside Currys PC World. Mask-wearing shoppers were seen in a queue which snaked outside the store on Saturday 

Meanwhile a Kent marketplace put up signs warning pedestrians of the Covid risk in the region. Shoppers were seen walking around on Saturday

Meanwhile a Kent marketplace put up signs warning pedestrians of the Covid risk in the region. Shoppers were seen walking around on Saturday


Oxford Street in London looked crowded yesterday as shoppers rushed to buy their last-minute Christmas presents as the day approaches

Oxford Street in London looked crowded yesterday as shoppers rushed to buy their last-minute Christmas presents as the day approaches

Shoppers on bustling Oxford Street in London were seen stocking up on presents on the last Saturday before Christmas

Shoppers on bustling Oxford Street in London were seen stocking up on presents on the last Saturday before Christmas

Crowds were seen walking along Oxford Street yesterday. Many opted to wear masks as they walked outside

Crowds were seen walking along Oxford Street yesterday. Many opted to wear masks as they walked outside

Some shoppers paused to listen to music on Oxford Street on the last Saturday before Christmas. Many opted to do their Christmas shopping on the highstreet

Some shoppers paused to listen to music on Oxford Street on the last Saturday before Christmas. Many opted to do their Christmas shopping on the highstreet 

Huge groups of people were seen walking along London's Oxford street as Christmas Day approaches. Many wore masks

Huge groups of people were seen walking along London's Oxford street as Christmas Day approaches. Many wore masks


'Indeed, in 2015 - the last time that Christmas Day also fell on a Friday as it does this year - footfall in retail destinations rose by +7.6% up to 12pm on Saturday 19th December.

'The only type of retail destination where footfall was higher on Saturday than on the previous Saturday were retail parks and only those that comprise mainly homeware and DIY stores.

'In this type of retail park, footfall was +2.9% higher than last week whilst in parks that are dominated by fashion retailers footfall was -7.9% lower.

'In all other types of destination across the UK, footfall had dropped from the week before. Even in large shopping centres - which typically are a big draw for shoppers for Christmas shopping as they have the greatest concentration of multiple stores as they have the widest product offering and are also mainly under cover - footfall was lower than on Saturday 12th December. 

'However, it seems that smaller shopping centres have increased in popularity, with footfall in the smallest shopping centres of less than 100,000 sq ft 9.2% higher than last Saturday.

'This is a strong indicator that shoppers are staying local, which has been a feature of shopper activity since the start of the first lockdown in March, but undoubtedly exacerbated now due to the widespread Tier 3 restrictions.'   


Despite there being less footfall than last week, a relatively big rush yesterday - the last Saturday before Christmas - was a stark contrast to scenes yesterday which saw highstreets nearly deserted on what many hoped would be a Frenzied Friday shopping spree. 

Boris Johnson's decision to place London in Tier 3 has decimated trade in the West End with footfall down 25 per cent in a week and 68.5 per cent in a year on one of the busiest shopping days of 2020. 

Friday's total spending was expected to be around £1.55billion - up by 19 per cent on the equivalent day last year - despite the dreaded coronavirus crisis trashing the festive season for millions. 

But while many still braved pouring rain to hit the shops in London, Liverpool, Newcastle, Portsmouth, Reading, Windsor and Swansea, the number of people shopping compared to a week ago - and the same day in 2019 - is down massively as a total of 38 million people begin life in Tier Three from Saturday. 

Coronavirus lockdown rules hammered the UK High Street in November as retail sales dropped by 3.8 per cent when compared to October. 

Clothing stores were the hardest hit as sales plummeted by 19 per cent while the sale of fuel also tumbled by 16.6 per cent as families stayed at home.

However, online shopping surged by 74.7 per cent year-on-year as businesses said people had brought forward their Christmas shopping. 

In central London, put into Tier 3 early this week, the number of people on Oxford Street, Bond Street and other shopping streets has plummeted, exclusive figures show. 


The big rush to the highstreet on the last Saturday before Christmas (queues outside Currys PC World, pictured) was a stark contrast to scenes yesterday which saw highstreets nearly deserted on what many hoped would be a Frenzied Friday shopping spree

The big rush to the highstreet on the last Saturday before Christmas (queues outside Currys PC World, pictured) was a stark contrast to scenes yesterday which saw highstreets nearly deserted on what many hoped would be a Frenzied Friday shopping spree

Newcastle's Northumberland Street was packed with shoppers eager to get a Christmas bargain on Saturday as the big day draws near

Newcastle's Northumberland Street was packed with shoppers eager to get a Christmas bargain on Saturday as the big day draws near

Shoppers in Newcastle were yesterday eager to get their hands on some last-minute gifts on the last Saturday before Christmas

Shoppers in Newcastle were yesterday eager to get their hands on some last-minute gifts on the last Saturday before Christmas

Huge queues were seen outside Costco in Manchester as shoppers rushed to stock up on their Christmas dinner essentials yesterday

Huge queues were seen outside Costco in Manchester as shoppers rushed to stock up on their Christmas dinner essentials yesterday

Lines of trolleys were seen outside Costco in Manchester on Saturday as Christmas day draws nearer and home delivery slots book up

Lines of trolleys were seen outside Costco in Manchester on Saturday as Christmas day draws nearer and home delivery slots book up 

Shoppers were seen with trolleys piled high with essentials as winding queues formed outside Costco in Birmingham on Saturday
One man was seen stocking up on essentials in Birmingham on Saturday

Shoppers were seen with trolleys piled high with essentials as winding queues formed outside Costco in Birmingham on Saturday

Shoppers with their trolleys filled to the brim with Christmas day essentials were seen outside Costco in Birmingham on Saturday

Shoppers with their trolleys filled to the brim with Christmas day essentials were seen outside Costco in Birmingham on Saturday

Shoppers hit a market in Dartford, Kent, as they sought to stock up on last-minute Christmas presents before the big day on Saturday

Shoppers hit a market in Dartford, Kent, as they sought to stock up on last-minute Christmas presents before the big day on Saturday

Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard said: 'In Central London footfall declined sharply from the week before by 24.3% following the imposition of Tier 3 regulations. In regional cities outside London footfall declined by 2.3% due to this reason'. 

Only visits to shopping centres were up yesterday, when compared to a week ago, but still down compared to December 18 2019. 

Ms Wehrle said: 'In shopping centres footfall rose from the previous Friday by 2.5%, which is a trend we expect with shoppers gravitating to shopping centres in the run up to Christmas as there is the widest choice of products for gifting'.

She added: 'The peak Christmas shopping day in each year is December 23, however this year - due to the five day quarantine holiday that starts on 23rd - we forecast that the peak day will be December 22'.


Images of a mountains of post bags at sorting offices have sparked fears about delayed Christmas presents this season. A Bristol sorting office, pictured

Images of a mountains of post bags at sorting offices have sparked fears about delayed Christmas presents this season. A Bristol sorting office, pictured 

Thousands of presents remain buried in mountains of post bags at sorting offices, it has been revealed. Pictured is the Royal Mail sorting office in Manchester

Thousands of presents remain buried in mountains of post bags at sorting offices, it has been revealed. Pictured is the Royal Mail sorting office in Manchester

The highstreet figures come as images of a mountains of post bags at sorting offices spark fears about delayed Christmas presents this season. 

One image posted on Twitter displayed the huge pile of Royal Mail sacks in Bristol.

A second showed that sorting offices are so inundated that staff are having to stack items outside, putting parcels at risk of being damaged by rain or even stolen. 

Union bosses are reporting similar scenes across the country and have described the Christmas delivery chaos as a 'nightmare' after businesses complained parcels were taking up to a month to arrive.

Sorting offices are so inundated that staff are having to stack items outside, putting parcels at risk of being damaged by rain or even stolen. Pictured is a site in Essex

Sorting offices are so inundated that staff are having to stack items outside, putting parcels at risk of being damaged by rain or even stolen. Pictured is a site in Essex

A massive switch to online shopping means there are an estimated 200million more parcels in the postal and courier system this year. Online orders are expected to be up by more than 50 per cent as internet festive shopping overtakes the high street for the first time.

The Royal Mail has hired 33,000 temporary staff to help deal with demand. 

It comes as a scarcity of online supermarket delivery slots risks sending scores of Christmas dinner plans up in smoke and many Christmas gifts are stuck waiting to arrive in Britain due to chaos at the ports.

Shoppers are desperately scrolling through slot times but finding they are fully booked or will not arrive until after December 25. 

It comes as a scarcity of online supermarket delivery slots risks sending scores of Christmas dinner plans up in smoke. The scramble for food appears to have resulted in shortages - which left one Tesco customer furious when her delivery arrived with no turkey

It comes as a scarcity of online supermarket delivery slots risks sending scores of Christmas dinner plans up in smoke. The scramble for food appears to have resulted in shortages - which left one Tesco customer furious when her delivery arrived with no turkey

Shoppers are desperately scrolling through slot times but finding they are fully booked or will not arrive until after December 25. An Asda in London is completely booked for deliveries

Shoppers are desperately scrolling through slot times but finding they are fully booked or will not arrive until after December 25. An Asda in London is completely booked for deliveries 

Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons all confirmed to MailOnline that they were grappling with a high demand for deliveries amid a festive rush. 

Meanwhile delays with Christmas presents are threatening to ruin Christmas for families and businesses. 

Many customers have complained about items arriving late, while John Lewis, Boots and HMV have blamed Royal Mail for delivery delays. Terry Pullinger, of the Communication Workers Union, said: 'We could not possibly have anticipated this level of packets and parcels, it seems to be intensifying every day.

'That coupled with the arrangements that are going to be in place to keep key workers safe because of Covid, and the rising spread of Covid, is complicating what is already a strategic nightmare.'

Ian Trehearne, branch secretary for Gloucestershire, said sorting offices have been 'flooded' and had been 'under the cosh' without let up since April.

1 comment:

  1. what a great time to visit the normally crowded spots,no herds of Chinese no waiting at the art museums and such.

    ReplyDelete