Boxing Day sales records have been smashed after shoppers sent tills into meltdown across Britain.
Bargain-hunters queued overnight in preparation for stores opening this morning, with thousands pouring through the doors from as early as 6am.
More than £50m would have been taken on London West End’s famous shopping destinations of Bond Street, Regent Street and Oxford Street at closing time.
Selfridges, situated on Oxford Street reported its most successful first hour of trade ever, with £1.5 million rattling through the tills.
Sue West, Selfridges director of operations, reported handbags and menswear were among the items flying off the shelves first.
“Online sales have been great, but year-on-year people still want to experience the Boxing Day sales,” she said.
John Lewis made a record start to its online sale which began on Christmas Eve with hourly orders up 70% on last year.
Andy Street, managing director of John Lewis, said: “To be announcing another record-breaking pre-Christmas week along with such a fantastic start to our online clearance is marvellous news.”
Kent’s Bluewater shopping centre saw about 120,000 visitors pass through its doors, with queues forming at 1am.
The British Retail Consortium had described high-street spending as “acceptable but not exceptional” this festive period, but the Boxing Day sales would add gloss to the figures.
A strike by London tube drivers about bank holiday pay it made no difference on the sales on Boxing day.
Extra buses were laid on for those travelling to the West End, as well as the Westfield shopping centres in Stratford, east London, and White City, west London, Transport for London said.
Jason Tyrrell from the New West End Company told Sky News: “We were prepared for this strike and had coaches for staff. The shoppers are out in force, but I hope both sides get round the table and sort it out.”