Why Retailers AND Consumers Love Boxing Day

December 22, 2018

The History of Boxing Day

What is Boxing Day, How Did It Begin and Are Boxing Gloves Involved? 

Some of you may not be familiar with Boxing Day or it’s history. Perhaps that is because unlike Rich, your roots don't reach to the North. Rich grew up near Buffalo, New York and being that close to Canada, he listened to a rock-n-roll station from Toronto called Q107. 

Rich remembers that, “every year during the holidays all the stores in Canada advertised their Boxing Day sales on December 26th.  Since Buffalo is connected to Canada by the Peace bridge, many stores in Buffalo would also have Boxing Day sales to attract Canadian customers to cross the border to go shopping.”

But in case YOU have never heard of Boxing Day, this is the perfect time of year to find out more. For consumers, the day just might become a favorite life hack for finding the best deals after Christmas. For retailers, it can become an added boost to end of year sales while clearing out older inventory. 

Leave Your Boxing Gloves at Home

Boxing Day traditionally is a holiday celebrated on the day after Christmas. According to Wikipedia, it originated in the United Kingdom and is celebrated in a number of countries that previously formed part of the British Empire.

Boxing Day is on December 26th and is actually observed as a bank holiday. If the 26th falls on the weekend, then the bank holiday would take place on the next business day.

Boxing Day

Why is it called Boxing Day?

Apparently, there may be a discrepancy from where the term came from. According to The Spruce it could be one of these explanations or possibly all of them:

  1. The name is a reference to holiday gifts. A ‘Christmas Box’ in Britain is a name for a Christmas present. Boxing Day was traditionally a day off for servants and the day when they received a ‘Christmas Box’ from the master. The servants would also go home on Boxing Day to give ‘Christmas Boxes’ to their families.
  2. The name is a reference to charity drives. A box to collect money for the poor traditionally and placed in Churches on Christmas day and opened the next day - Boxing Day.
  3. The name refers to a nautical tradition. Great sailing ships when setting sail would have a sealed box containing money on board for good luck. Were the voyage a success, the box was given to a priest, opened at Christmas and the contents then given to the poor. 

Where Exactly is it Celebrated?

  • The United Kingdom
  • Ireland
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Hong Kong (despite the transfer of sovereignty from the UK to China in 1997, Boxing Day continues to be a public holiday.)
  • Bermuda (Bermuda is a British overseas territory and they celebrate with costumed Gombey dancers performing.)
  • While not generally observed in the United States, on December 5, 1996 Massachusetts Gov. William F. Weld declared December 26thas Boxing Day in Massachusetts. This was in response to the efforts of a local coalition of British citizens to "transport the English tradition to the United States",but not as an employee holiday.

Retail & Shopping

In the UK, Canada, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago and New Zealand, Boxing Day is primarily known as a shopping holiday, much like Black Friday. Boxing Day sales are common in Canada, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago and New Zealand. It is a time when shops hold sales, often with dramatic price reductions.

Wikipedia also shows that in recent years, retailers have expanded deals to "Boxing Week". While Boxing Day is 26 December, many retailers will run the sales for several days before or after 26 December, often up to New Year's Eve. 

Canada's Boxing Day has often been compared with the American Super Saturday (the Saturday before Christmas) and Black Friday. Boxing Day is not and has never been a shopping holiday in the USA; however, December 26 often starts many retailers' after-Christmas sales.

Boxing Day sales in the United States are growing each year. They present a perfect opportunity for retailers to give consumers one more GREAT deal for the year. 

Defiance Tools and Boxing Day

Here at Defiance Tools we believe in old traditions even if they aren’t typically American. So, shop our store December 26th thru Dec. 31 Midnight PST for 30% off purchases of $50 with code "Box30". Happy Holidays!!

Zoe’ Coulcher ~ Co-Founder of Defiance Tools

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