Retailers including Arcadia, Debenhams and Selfridges have backed a campaign to allow stores to open for a full trading day on Boxing Day, which this year falls on a Sunday.

The New West End Company, which is leading the campaign, claimed that restricting Boxing Day trading this year to the usual six hours allowed on a Sunday would cost £50m in takings in the West End alone. Sunday trading law allows stores of over 280 sq m to trade for just six hours between 10am and 6pm.

Arcadia owner Sir Philip Green said “it does seem sensible when Boxing Day falls on a Sunday to give customers as much flexibility and time as possible for their post-Christmas Sales shop.”

Other businesses supporting the campaign are House of Fraser, Hamleys and New Look.

HoF chief executive John King warned that the volumes of shoppers being crammed into a six hour shopping window could cause potential health and safety issues.

The New West End Company is calling for emergency legislation to allow a longer trading day this Boxing Day. After this year, Boxing Day doesn’t fall on a Sunday again until 2021.