London — Man Killed Amid Britains Post-Holiday Sales

olice maintain a security cordon following a fatal stabbing on Oxford Street
in London December 26, 2011. A male was pronounced dead at the scene and a
number of arrests had been made, police said. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth London — A
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ager was fatally stabbed Monday
after an argument broke out in a sports store on Londons most famous retail
street as thousands of shoppers flocked to Britains capital seeking post-xmas
bargains. The killing of the 18-year-old man on Oxford Street ?and a second
wounding in the same road ?did little to deter shoppers crowding into
neighboring stores in the landmark shopping district. Bargain hunters were also
largely untroubled by a subway strike which badly disrupted the citys public
transport services.Advertisement: Selfridges ?close to the scene of Mondays
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of Britains most popular department stores ?reported its biggest ever first
hour of trading Monday morning, while the New West End Company, which
represents traders on central Londons shopping streets, reported 15 million
pounds (US$23.5 million) in sales in the first three hours of trading. As ever,
the West Ends Boxing Day sales have attracted shoppers in their hundreds of
thousands, said Jace Tyrrell, of the New West End Company. Sue West, Selfridges
director of operations, said that ladies accessories and jewelry were the most
popular items snapped up. Despite Tube disruptions … we had record sales in
our first hour, West said. Londons air ambulance helicopter had earlier rushed
to the street following the fatal stabbing. Authorities said the teenage victim
died before medics could administer help. Police erected a tent outside a Foot
Locker sports store as they carried out investigations and confirmed that ten
people had been arrested in connection with the death. Officers said a second
stabbing took place close by ?on the corner of Oxford Street and Regent Street
?but insisted it wasnt immediately known if the two incidents were linked. Det.
Chief Insp. Mark Dunne, of Londons Metropolitan police, said two groups of
young people appeared to have become involved in a large-scale altercation
before the teenagers death. Dunne said that little more was known about the
circumstances, but there were likely to be large numbers of witnesses. This is
probably the busiest place in the United Kingdom right now, on the busiest
shopping day, he told reporters at the scene. A number of weapons have been
recovered from that scene ?whether I have got the murder weapon I dont know.
Theres an assortment of items, but no guns, he said. On Londons subway network,
the ASLEF train drivers labor union staged a one-day strike to demand extra pay
and additional time off for members working on the public holiday. Despite the
disruptions, huge crowds ?some lining up outside stores from midnight ?rushed
into department stores in London and other British cities as soon as doors
opened early Monday. The London Underground, the organization that manages the
subway system, condemned the move, saying it was pointless and demonstrated a
complete disregard for our customers. Authorities said extra buses were running
in main shopping areas to cater to the increased flow of travelers on one of
the years busiest shopping days. The ASLEF union has warned it plans to stage
three more strikes in January and February if the dispute is not resolved.
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