Boots has announced that its famous 70% off sale will kick off on Friday. It's a major date in the diary for bargain hunters, many of whom say they buy all their toiletries in the sale and stockpile them for the year. In fact, it was pressure from angry bargain-hunters that forced Boots to come clean about the date of the sale.
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Like most other major high street names, Boots has been running a sale since Christmas, with up to 50% off selected items. These offer some great deals, but avid bargain-hunters know that this isn't the Boots sale to get excited about - that one hits around the middle of January, with huge savings of up to 70% off.
Rumours started ahead of Wednesday 11th January, with the Money Saving Expert website pointing out that for five of the past eight years, Boots has started its sale on the third Wednesday after Christmas - which would have been 11th January. Rumours then started on the forum that people had spotted signage tucked away in stores, and seen signs of an impending switch to massive savings as staff moved sale goods around in store.
Bargain hunters then pointed out that for the other three years it started on the fourth Wednesday after Christmas, so the 18th was in the frame. Martin Lewis even told the This Morning programme that this was the likely date.
According to deal hunting site Latestdeals.co.uk, many bargain-hunters stayed up until midnight to be sure of getting the deals before they sold out. However, this date also came and went, and again no mega-sale materialised, so they took to the forum to complain.
Colepaula, a forum poster, said: "Been up all night, not happy! They should let people know sooner... Getting fed up now... Been every year and never known this. Lots of us spend money in Boots all year round sometimes lots of money, they could just give us a little something back!" Lex74 agreed: "Second week I've wasted being up waiting for any sign of the 70% off sale."
Perhaps the most distressed was Sam17, who added: "I took today off work as holiday for this. Not happy."
One bargain hunter, Penny Smith, contacted the Boots social media page to complain, after waiting outside the Bluewater branch to be first through the door when it opened - only to discover the sale hadn't started after-all.
Several people also contacted Boots on social media, demanding to know when the 70% sale would kick off, but were met with either silence, or a firm insistence that this wasn't the kind of thing Boots would disclose. Just hours before the official announcement, Boots posted: "We are indeed receiving a lot of questions about this. Sadly nothing has been announced yet along these lines."
Finally, on Wednesday afternoon, Boots relented, and admitted that the sale will start on Friday morning. The deals online will remain the same - with savings of up to 50% off. However, in store there will be savings of up to 75%.
You can expect this to be a popular sale, so if you're keen to grab a bargain, it pays to go early, with a clear idea of what you are after, and be prepared for anything between a sizeable queue at the till to a proper scrum.