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In pictures: Shoppers flock to Boxing Day sales

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image captionThere were some early starters for the traditional Boxing Day sales. This baby visiting the Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester stayed asleep while its pushchair was used as a way of carrying around bargains.
image captionQueues started early for the sales across the UK with many people waiting overnight outside Selfridges in London. Wang Tianyi, a student from China, and his girlfriend Sun Yeting, both aged 21, joined the queue at 4am. Mr Tianyi said: "We don't prepare very well, I've heard it's crazy."
image captionShopper Mevish proudly displays her number one ticket for being the first person to queue at Birmingham's Bullring. She arrived at 00:30 GMT and told the BBC: "It has been freezing and raining but people have been asking when we got here and it's been really good." She was one of nearly 2,000 people outside the centre.
image captionThere was no hanging about for the sales shoppers at Leicester's Highcross Centre as they charged through the doors when they opened at 06:00 GMT. Shoppers around the country were given clear plastic bags to use in an effort to cut down on shoplifting.
image captionAnd the effort proved worthwhile for the Leicester bargain hunters who managed to bag plenty of the clothes and other goods which had been reduced in price. Highcross Centre general manager Jo Tallack said: "We are pleased to say that we have enjoyed one of our most successful Christmas periods to date."
image captionA long queue of shoppers formed outside Harrods in Knightsbridge, central London, waiting for entry to its sale. The store offered mugs of hot chocolate, smoked salmon canapes and blankets to keep queuers warm.
image captionHarrods also employed a string quartet and a street magician to entertain the crowd before the eager shoppers were allowed to enter the Knightsbridge store.
image captionSelfridges, on London's Oxford Street, was popular with international visitors to the capital. Retail director Sue West said: "The Chinese market is hugely important to us. It's one of the fastest growing international markets that we have but likewise we have a lot of international customers and you'll see a lot of Europeans today."
image captionSelfridges retail director Sue West said that the ITV drama Mr Selfridge had done "wonders for the brand". She added: "We've seen a lot of new clients, a lot of new customers come in, ever since the series went live."
image captionWhile people searched for in-store bargains on Boxing Day, many others chose to shop from the comfort of their own homes, with 117 million visits estimated to have been made to retail websites on Christmas Day.
image captionOxford Street in central London, which had been deserted 24 hours earlier, was heaving with people with little space to walk on the pavement. More than a million people were expected to visit the area during the day.