Forget retail therapy – when the (in)famous January sales in London roll around, a relaxing shopping experience is the last thing on anyone’s mind. Instead, the allure is supplied by heavily, heavily discounted designer goodies (who wouldn’t want to score a Burberry trench for 70% off?). Whether you’re after clothes or homeware, accessories or a hot pair of heels, it’s time to sharpen those elbows and get stuck in. Whether it’s the glamour of the Harrods Sale, the stylish Lambs Conduit Street menswear or the elegant sophistication of Mount Street, Mayfair, these are the most sought-after sales in London.
As London buses and TV adverts start telling us in November, there is only one sale – the Harrods Sale. It’s hardly an exaggeration to say that the grande dame of London retail, spangled at this time of year with brilliant fairy lights, is synonymous with January sales in London. Last year, guests who arrived bright and early on Boxing Day were entertained by jugglers and offered canapés, hot chocolate, and more – we can’t be certain how Harrods will top that performance this year, only that they certainly will.
This year’s pressie pile not quite as statuesque as you’d hoped? Follow the trail of yellow bags to Selfridges, which will be holding its famous sale across all six of its floors. While discounts soar up to 75%, those kinds of reductions might mean a few yellow swag bags of your own.
Within its famous Grade II-listed, Tudor Revival building, luxurious Liberty is a favourite of the fashion set. Browse (or perhaps, hurriedly pillage) the womenswear section on the first and second floors and menswear on the lower ground, before exploring the famous houseware collections on the fourth floor. With discounts up to 60%, there’s good reason to get frantic – just mind the breakables.
After nibbling the stilton, popping the bubbly, and devouring the truffles from one of Fortnum & Mason’s famous Christmas hampers, plan a post-Christmas return visit to take advantage of the department store’s generous discounts (which typically cap at 50% off). Fortnum & Mason may be one of the Queen’s preferred retailers, but even Her Maj will find bare shelves if she arrives more than a few days after the sale starts.
50% off designer pieces including Alexander McQueen, Isabel Marant, Givenchy and Manolo Blahnik? Prepare for the stampede. The Knightsbridge-based Harvey Nichols historically draws eager crowds post-Christmas. If your stockings looked a little empty this year, a few designer steals are sure to drive away the post-holiday malaise.
Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo’s Dover Street Market is unlike any other shopping outlet in London. Six floors display fashion in an experimental, concept-store setting, with art installations and eye-catching design touches. But Dover Street Market isn’t too exclusive to have its own January sales – discounts, hovering around 30%, aren’t quite as steep as other shops, but they’ll still make bargains out of rare treasures.
The ever-evolving Mount Street, Mayfair is possibly London’s most elegant shopping stretch, lined with dozens of designer outlets. From Pringles of Scotland to Lanvin, Marc Jacobs to Céline, it offers a glittering red carpet of exclusive shopping possibilities – especially come sale time.
And what about the men? From the hallmark fashions of Folk to the effortless style of Oliver Spencer, Lambs Conduit Street menswear is both on-trend and wonderfully laid-back. While you’re there, make sure to check out the chic home accessories at Darkroom and the colourful furnishings on offer at Pentreath & Hall, before popping into Maggie Owen for some truly unique jewellery.
Curated designer fashion. 60% off. Browns, a London favourite since 1970, clearly knows how to throw one of the very best January sales in London. Get there early enough and you’re bound to score a 3.1 Phillip Lim piece or Simone Rocha statement dress that’ll be best accessorised by free-flowing Champagne on New Year’s Eve.
Much as coveted designer dresses capture the attention, January sales aren’t only the province of fashion designers. Heal’s brings the same editorial eye to your humble abode, with pieces from Ligne Roset, Tom Dixon and Philippe Starck. Ikea this isn’t – even with January sales prices – but discounts up to 50% make a home makeover as accessible as a personal one.