BOXING Day sales spending is due to fall today for the first time in seven years.
It will be eight per cent down on last year — even though 25million shoppers will still spend £4.4billion, the Centre For Retail Research says.
The first year-on-year December 26 spending fall since 2012 is being blamed on Black Friday discounts.
But today will still be the third-biggest UK shopping day in history.
It will also be more than double Panic Saturday’s £1.7bn before Christmas Day, and almost double Black Friday’s £2.5bn.
Bargain-hunters were expected to have queued for sales from 3am.
Security guards were on duty all night for queues, with in-store staff at work as early as 3am.
The Centre’s Professor Joshua Bamfield said much of the cash will be spent online.
He added: “People will check what’s in stores then look for deals online instead.”
Boxing Day shoppers are also likely to be put off by a wave of wet weather that will bring downpours to high street across the UK.