High Street (2)

The High Street received a welcome boost thanks to the Boxing Day sales over the three-day weekend, according to retail researchers Springboard.

With Boxing Day falling on Saturday and the bank holiday moving to Monday, footfall - the number of people visiting retail stores - was up 11.7% on last year, Springboard said.

The longer weekend also helped Sunday's footfall to rise by 8.9%. The number of shoppers visiting shopping centres was up 7.9%, with retail park visitors up 3.2%.

In recent years, the Boxing Day sales have even crept into Christmas Day itself with discounts and offers being available online. One of the country's biggest retailers, John Lewis, reported a 10.7% rise in online sales on Christmas Day compared with last year. And web services group PCA Predict estimates that overall online retail sales were up 21% on Christmas Day in 2014.

Speaking to the BBC, Springboard director Diane Wehrle said retailers and shoppers alike were making the most of 'Click and Collect' services.

She said: "Landlords have improved the destinations so they have broadened the offer and brought in extra retailers, restaurants and coffee shops.

"You might click and collect some purchases, pop into some shops and then have a coffee or something to eat and possibly go to the cinema."