Retailers will spend between 5 and 10 per cent more on casual staff this year to cover the key Christmas period.

The total cost is likely to be approximately£150 million as store groups draft in 90,000 temps, according to recruitment firm Adecco.

Game became the latest to reveal Christmas hiring needs, and will boost its staff total by between 40 and 50 per cent. Argos has said it will hire 22,000 this year; Tesco 12,000; Sainsbury's 10,000; Woolworths 7,000 and Boots the Chemists 4,500.

'It's going to be very, very busy. There are more killer titles than ever before,' said a Game spokeswoman.

Some temps will work on Game's tills, while others will be runners, charged with checking what queuing customers want and having product ready and bagged at the till.

FootFall said shopper numbers are increasing by 4.5 per cent a week. On Monday, London's Oxford Street Xmas lights were lit. The display features nine 'space cannon lasers'. More than 40 million visitors are expected over six weeks.