The post-Christmas Sales have got off to a strong start, with shopper numbers well up on 2008.

According to Experian Footfall the number of shoppers of Boxing Day was up 18.5% on last year, although this was helped by more shopping centres being open on Boxing Day this year than last. Shopper numbers in Scotland were held back by continuing problems with snow.

Shopper numbers on Sunday (December 27) were up just under 18% compared with the same Sunday last year, which fell on December 28. Analyst Anita Manan described the shopper numbers as “exceptional”, but warned that the imminent VAT rise could be pulling forward sales which might otherwise have been made in the new year.