SCORES of shoppers battled it out for bargains as Huddersfield town centre stores flung open their doors to welcome customers to the first day of the sales.
Shoppers eagerly queued outside stores yesterday including Next, Boots, Beatties and Peters, while retailers geared up for the busiest day of the year as thousands of people cashed-in on huge reductions on clothing, electrical and household items.
At Peters Fashions, King Street, owner David Whittle was prepared for the rush of customers.
Mr Whittle said: "We are looking forward to record sales.
"This is traditionally the busiest day of the year.
"It is a sunny, crisp and cold day - it is not a shopping mall day at all.
"So we need to make hay while the sun shines, while everyone is still off work."
And at the Beatties store in Kingsgate, assistant general manager Michelle Wheelright was in a similar upbeat mood as shoppers poured through the doors.
Across town swarms of shoppers clutching carrier bags filled the streets.
Shopper Sue Harvey, of Oakes, said: "I thought I would come and have a look around and decided to come in early to beat the crowds.
"I have bought some Christmas cards for next year."
Ann Coulthard, of Golcar, was also among the crowds hoping to snatch a bargain.
She said: "It seems pretty quiet this year but we thought we would come for a look before going back to work.
"We might get a few bargains."
The country's major shopping malls reported a brisk start to the post-Christmas sales with many bargain-hunters even prepared to brave icy conditions to queue for stores to open.
Retailers expect trade to be buoyant all the way through the week.
Officials at the Trafford Centre in Manchester revealed that 100,000 people were expected to have passed through its doors by the end of today.
Centre spokeswoman Hannah Foster said: "We have had our best Christmas ever and we are hoping it will continue into the New Year."