Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Senegalese photographer's flashbacks to Africans throughout history

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande photographed with Julie Gayet on Elysée Palace balcony

Read more

REVISITED

Is Beirut still haunted by ghosts of the civil war?

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Band Aid 30 - Hit or Miss? Bob Geldof in Hot Water over Ebola Single

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Deal or No Deal with Iran? Home Stretch to Reach Historic Agreement

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Football scandals: The ugly side of the beautiful game

Read more

#THE 51%

Ending violence against women: The dangers of trial by Twitter

Read more

#TECH 24

Tech giants under scrutiny: The problem with Uber

Read more

FOCUS

Inside an Iranian nuclear research reactor

Read more

Europe

Undeterred by Tube strike, London shoppers flock to Boxing Day sales

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-12-26

Even a strike on London's Underground metro system that caused most trains to be suspended could not keep shoppers from flocking to the traditional Boxing Day sales on Sunday.

AFP - Shoppers flocked to the traditional Boxing Day sales in London on Sunday, undeterred in their search for a bargain by a strike on the subway system that caused most train services to be suspended.
             
Oxford Street, the main shopping artery in the capital, was heaving with shoppers by lunchtime, although some people had camped overnight outside Selfridges department store to ensure they were first in the queue.
             
Similar scenes played out across Britain as retailers slashed their prices by up to 75 percent, many of them hoping to make up for slow trading earlier in the month caused by snow and cold weather.
             
Bargain-hunters in London were forced to drive or get the bus to the shops as Underground drivers went on a 24-hour strike in a dispute over holiday pay.
             
Members of the Aslef trade union voted to walk out after transport chiefs refused their demand for triple pay and a day off for working on December 26 -- the day after Christmas being a national holiday in Britain.
             
The strike caused the part or full suspension of every Tube line, meaning that the train network will have effectively been closed for two days -- it was also shut Saturday for Christmas.
             
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said Aslef's demands were "monstrous" and accused the union of breaking a long-standing agreement on working hours that included conditions for national holidays.
             
But union official Steve Grant said they had been trying to discuss the issue for two years, insisting that managers "want to increase service levels to meet demand. We're not against it, we're against working it for flat time."
             
The walkout follows a series of Tube strikes by members of the RMT union in recent months over plans to axe 800 jobs.
             
Hoards of shoppers were undeterred by the disruption, however, with a hardy few even beginning queuing outside Selfridges from 11:00 pm on Christmas Day. By 4:00 am Sunday there were about 60 people waiting, the store said.
             
Selfridges is expecting 80,000 people to pass through its doors on Oxford Street, after offering discounts of up to 75 percent.
             
Long queues also formed outside shops in other cities across Britain, and retailers said they expected Monday -- which is also a national holiday -- to be equally busy.

Date created : 2010-12-26

  • WEATHER

    Retailers are also feeling the sting of winter's chill

    Read more

  • RETAIL

    Luxury store Harrods sold to Qatari royals

    Read more

COMMENT(S)