Thousands of bargain hunters flocked to shopping centres across the West Midlands yesterday for an early start to the post-Christmas sales.
Shoppers began to queue from 6.30am at Birmingham's Bullring where 150 retailers offered up to 50 per cent off selected lines.
Four hours later, the mall had recorded 26,500 visitors - six per cent more than last year - and by 10am the car park was full.
When shops closed last night, 160,000 people had been to the centre, compared with last year's 125,000 for the same day.
More than 100 people queued outside Selfridges and there was a dash up the escalators to womenswear and accessories when the doors opened. The designer label sections of Gucci, Dior and Prada had to be barriered off, as guards operated a one-in, one-out policy.
Selfridges general store manager, Loretta Fraser, said: "We have had another record opening day today with hundreds of happy shoppers going home with some great bargains.
"Boxing Day Sale opening has become a family day out and we have seen whole families, including grandparents in store."
The first designer item sold at the store was a Gucci "Hollywood" handbag, which was reduced from #690 to #369.
One customer, Airam Nawaz, from Great Barr, bought two Dior handbags, two pairs of Dior shoes, two Gucci handbags and three pairs of Gucci shoes by 10am.
"I came in for just after nine this morning and have got some great bargain buys."
Bullring general manager, Tim Walley, said: "We had a great Christmas at Bullring, yet again beating our targets.
"We continue to be the most visited shopping centre in England, if not Europe, and if today is anything to go by, 2006 should be another excellent year for Bullring."
The Merry Hill shopping centre in Brierley Hill saw similar numbers scramble to pick up sale items.
A spokeswoman said: "It has been very busy since Debenhams opened this morning at 8am and we are expecting the same level of footfall tomorrow when Next opens at 5am and Marks and Spencers opens at 8am.
"A lot of people were in the shops buying evening wear, glittery sandals and going-out clothes, possibly for New Year's. The traffic has been quite good."