Bargain hunters out in force early for Boxing Day sales
Boxing Day bargain hunters were up early queuing outside stores as the post-Christmas sales saw prices slashed by as much as 70%.
December 26 is the most popular day to shop during the Christmas sales period, according to Barclaycard, with three in 10 people planning to take advantage of the deals.
Stores have swapped their festive windows for huge signs promising hefty discounts.
Shoppers queued outside stores around the country before first light, and people were pictured inside with armfuls of half price clothes, while more than half a million people are expected to descend on central London.
Jace Tyrrell, chief executive at New West End Company, representing businesses in Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street, said: "Over half a million visitors expected in the West End today with £50m expected to go through the tills.
"Up to 70% off as retailers pull out all the stops to clear as much stock as possible before the critical year end and Q1 costs come through."
Boxing Day still remains a key shopping day – twice as much money was spent on Boxing Day than Black Friday last year – while the period between Christmas Day and New Year generated £12 billion in sales, according to ShopperTrak.
John Lewis shoppers will not even have to wait until Boxing Day, with clearance having already started online at 5pm on Christmas Eve.
The sales will start in most shops on Thursday December 27 but its stores in the Trafford Centre, Heathrow and St Pancras are open on Boxing Day.
Argos will be starting its sale on Christmas Day online, as it did last year.
Debenhams is starting its sale online and in stores on Boxing Day, and will continue with the deals until the New Year.
However, the department store has been running significant sales before Christmas even arrived, with up to 50% off on designer womenswear and beauty and fragrance.
Tech giant Currys PC World is set to slash its prices, with last year's deals including bargains on laptops, TVs, washing machines and fridge freezers.
Samsung TVs were reduced by £700 and the price of the Lenovo IdeaPad was slashed by £220.
High street stalwart M&S is offering up to 50% off for Boxing Day shoppers.