Updated 9 January 2017:¬†Despite an announcement in November that sales periods will now be at the free choice of retailers and no longer limited officially to specific dates, the winter sales period proper starts today, with many shops offering hefty discounts even in advance of the February “half” of the traditional sales period, the “second sales” where prices are reduced even further. Happy bargain hunting! Original post 29 November 2016: Until now, there have been set sales periods governed by official dictat, and under the scheme, the official January sales were due to start as usual on Saturday, 7 January, the day after Reyes, andREAD MORE