Sales will start online on Sunday 23 and will begin in store from 7am on December 26. They'll both last until January 3.

The retailer says it will reduce "thousands of items" with up to 50 per cent off fragrance, beauty and grooming, home, electricals and lighting, fashion and accessories, and gadgets, toys and gifts.

Discounts include 30 per cent off a Lego Dragon Master Set, which will be reduced from £13 to £9.10 (saving shoppers £3.90).

The retailer already has an up to 50 per cent off sale running online.

But it's not the only shop to launch its sales early – high street chains have already begun heavily cutting prices and launching Christmas sales as they struggle to reap profits.

Which shops have Christmas sales on?

  • Asos – up to 50 per cent off
  • Boohoo – up to 70 per cent off
  • Debenhams – up to half price off
  • Matalan – up to 50 cent off off Christmas shop
  • Misguided – up to 70 per cent off everything
  • New Look – 60 per cent off knitwear, footwear, home and accessories, party
  • Topshop – up to 60 per cent off

Accountancy firm Deloitte says it expects the average discount across the market to rise to 48 per cent by Christmas Eve – a new record.

Retailers have blamed unseasonably warm weather for reduced spending by shoppers. It could also be economic uncertainty that's putting people off spending.

This year has seen the likes of Coast, House of Fraser, Orla Kiely and Toys R Us all going under.

And it's not just the high street that's been hit – online retailer Asos issued a profits warning earlier this week.

But if you want to sniff out a bargain in the sales, here's how to make sure you're not getting a dud deal.

1. Follow brands on social media

If you're looking for something in particular, say you want a Kindle from Amazon, sign up to Amazon's newsletters and then you can find out when discounts are going to happen.

Some retailers' newsletters will also give subscribers money-off codes when they first join, as well as exclusive discounts and sales previews.

2. Add things to your basket before sale start 

If you know what you want and you're fairly sure the retailer you're buying from will have a Boxing Day sale, add the items to your online shopping basket before the sale starts.

This means you don't have to panic about the item selling out while you try to find it online and in the right size, shape or colour.

Some online tools will even help you out with this – for example, Lovethesales enables you to save a shortlist of the items you want to buy, and you'll then be sent an email notification when the price drops.

When you put items in your online shopping basket and then leave it for a few hours, you might also find you're emailed discount codes by the retailer.

3. Compare current prices

Use online shopping comparison websites, such as Google Shopping and PriceSpy, to tell you prices at all the major retailers on the market – this way you can check you're getting a good deal before buying.

4. Check historical prices

If you're buying on Amazon, you can check if you're really getting a good deal buy viewing historical price data on CamelCamelCamel.

Argos shoppers can use to do the same.

Of course, this doesn't mean prices will follow the same patterns in future, but it might alert you to a better time to buy or to the fact you're not really getting a good deal.

5. Use cashback

Once you've found what you want to buy, check if you can get cashback on top using sites free to join such as Quidco and TopCashback.

Cashback is never guaranteed, as tracking errors can mean you don't get paid, but if you're buying the items anyway then you may as well try and get cashback on top.

If you can repay your credit card in full every month, also use a cashback card to earn money or rewards on spending. See our round-up of the best cashback credit cards.

6. Use voucher codes

You can go to voucher websites online, such as MyVoucherCodes and VoucherCodes, or The Sun has its own voucher website as well.

So look for codes and check if you can stack these on your Black Friday shopping to get the best deal.

7. Stick to a budget

Don't buy stuff simply because it's on sale. Always ask yourself if you really need it, and set a budget to ensure you don't overspend.

Asos shares plunged by 36 per cent earlier this week as the online retail giant issued a profit warning.

While other online stores, including Asos, TK Maxx and, have also slashed prices in order to drum up business.

Shops on the high street have launched the highest number of sales in the Christmas lead-up as retailers battle to win customers.

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