17/12/2011 01:34 GMT | Updated 15/02/2012 05:12 GMT

Christmas Shopping: Consumers Pour Into Stores For Busiest Day Of The Year

Chilly weather failed to deter Christmas shoppers as millions poured into stores around the country on what was one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

High streets and shopping centres were full of people looking for bargains, and retailers reported a sales increase on last year's final full weekend of shopping before Christmas.

More than 11 million people were expected to spend more than £1 billion at the rate of £1.5 million a minute, according to a report by shopping comparison website Kelkoo.

It said consumers will be spending £128 each on Christmas presents and other goods, taking the average family spend this festive season to almost £700.

This time last year, vast swathes of the country were hit by snow and Arctic temperatures, keeping shoppers away.

But the relatively less severe conditions in many parts of the country benefited shopkeepers, who recorded a big boost from last year's sales figures.

Jace Tyrell from the New West End Company, which represents shops on London's Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street, said trading was up more than 10% compared with last year.

"Obviously it was snowing this time last year, and most shops are double digits up," he said.

"One department store was up 40% up on last year. It's exactly what they needed."

Mr Tyrell said menswear, womenswear, electricals, toys and giftsets all sold well in shops in London's West End.