The keenest shoppers were already queueing up at 3.30am at Glasgow Fort to get first in line, with around 300 people waiting when the doors opened at 6am.
In Edinburgh customers waited outside a number of stores on Princes Street with queues forming from 4am at Next ahead of its 6am opening.
Harvey Nichols in St Andrew Square threw open its doors at 10am with designer handbags and clothing among the “must have” items.
A popular item among shoppers was the Lanvin stingray mini bag, originally £2,345 and selling at £1,407. Among the designer clothing bargains was a Victoria Beckham navy wool coat with lace inset wrist panels selling for £500, down from £1,250.
However, one of the busiest shops was The North Face, the outdoor clothing specialists, in Frederick Street in Edinburgh.
Manager Scott McLachlan said: “Our down -filled jackets which are down 20 per cent from £220 to £176 is one of our best-sellers in the sale, and our waterproof jackets. But, while we’re very much an outdoors range, we also saw groups of kids coming through the door at 9am to buy hoodies with our logos on them, gloves, hats and T-shirts. North face is popular with kids aged 10-16 and to them its more like a ‘street brand’ than an outdoors one.” While the incentive to hit the high streets is less of an attraction due to widespread discounting, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, shoppers throughout the UK were predicted to spend around £3.85 billion on Boxing Day, with £2.95 billion going into shop tills shops and another £900 million being spent online, according to the centre for retail research.
Gary Turnbull, general manager at intu Braehead, near Glasgow, said the centre had experienced the busiest start “for years”.
“The early birds certainly caught the best of the bargains. Shoppers were driving into our free car parks and queuing up for two hours outside the Next store at 4am, waiting for it to open at 6am.
“And by the time opened, there was a queue of around 400 people along the outside of the centre.
“JD Sports was another store opening at 6am, before the other stores started trading at 8am.
“As the day went on, the centre became even busier with shoppers and we had extra staff on duty to keep traffic flowing in our free car parks.”