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Monday, 28 January 2008

The January Sales (BBC)

For shopaholics, the post-Christmas period means only one thing - sales! Across the country,

prices are slashed on clothing, electronics, home furnishings and more, but London is the place for serious shopping, and you can certainly pick up some amazing bargains.


Bargain hunters queue up for the sales



The sales start on Boxing Day - 26th December, and continue for the month of January, but the keenest bargain hunters get there early to be first through the doors. In Oxford Street queues formed outside shops ahead of pre-dawn openings for the start of their sales. At Brent Cross, in north London, more than 1,000 people were queuing at 3.30am for the 'Next' clothing store's sale which began at 4am. Some hardy individuals even camped outside the shops to be first in the line.

Consumers who hit the shops were rewarded with discounts of as much as 80% as department stores joined the sales frenzy. The shops are absolutely heaving as the sales got into full swing, with more than half a million people converging on London's West End.

Famous sales include the biggest, most prestigious shops such as Harrods, Selfridges, Liberty and John Lewis. Department stores are always a good bet - you're likely to find everything you need under one roof, including much-needed refreshments! It's a good time to stock up on cheap gadgets, and there's no better time to invest in some designer threads.

Some people are taking their partners shopping with them, and buying their Christmas presents in the sale - a practical but unromantic way of making sure you get the gift you really want. For a less exciting but less stressful shopping experience, online retailers are also getting in on the act with January sales of their own.

The most organised of all are those who are already doing their present shopping for next Christmas, in the January sales!

Vocabulary

shopaholics
people who are addicted to shopping

slashed
greatly reduced

bargains
goods on sale at a lower price than their true value

bargain hunters
shoppers who visit many shops to find bargains

pre-dawn
very early in the morning, before the sunrise

hardy
strong enough to bear extreme conditions or difficult situations

individuals
people, persons

camped
put up tents and stayed in them

hit the shops
went to shops in large numbers and with the determination to buy a lot of bargains

frenzy
feeling extremely excited

heaving
with a lot of people moving around

got into full swing
if an event gets into full swing, it has already been happening for a period of time and there is a lot of activity

department stores
very large shops which sell all kinds of items

a good bet
something that would be useful to do

under one roof
in the same building

to stock up on
to buy a lot of

gadgets
small devices or machines with a particular purpose

threads
clothes (colloquial)

unromantic
with no romance/love

getting in on the act
here, participating in the sales

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