Shoppers in London were out in force for the traditional Boxing Day start of the sales, eager to grab some bargains despite a transport strike.
Many had queued overnight to have prime position when the doors opened.
The stores reported brisk business. In London’s prestigious West End they were expecting to take around 55 million euros on the day.
One of the biggest department stores on Oxford Street, Selfridges, predicted their tills would take 1.6 million euros during their busiest hour as shoppers hit by the financial crisis tried to make as many savings as possible.
The shops themselves are hoping for some relief from the crisis too.
Jace Tyrell from the New West End Company, which represents shops in Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street said: “It’s been a relatively tough Christmas for retailers up and down the country. The sales did come (in) the last few days, but obviously these Boxing Days and winter sales are very, very important for retailers in the UK.”
Tyrell said a strike by drivers on the London Underground over pay had had little impact on turnout.
Transport for London said some tubes were still running, and extra bus services had been laid on.