Retailers reported the “best day of trading in years” as shoppers braved the wintry weather to reach the high street.
On what was expected to be their busiest weekend before Christmas, many stores feared the Arctic conditions would seriously dent sales.
But though Brent Cross, one of the UK’s biggest shopping centres, was forced to close early Saturday, customers turned out in force on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Capital Shopping Centres (CSC) said car parks around the country were nearly full by midday, with coffee bars, cafes and restaurants at full capacity by lunchtime.
This came after shadow chancellor Alan Johnson suggested the big freeze could knock the economy as demand fell while people stayed indoors.
Many online purchases have already fallen victim to the snow after deliveries were disrupted by chaos on the roads.
CSC commercial director Trevor Pereira attributed today’s bumper day at the check-outs to pre-Christmas “panic buying”.
“We knew, being the last weekend before Christmas Day, that some last-minute panic shopping would happen,” he said.
“We have seen a spike in sales of traditional games for the family, such as Monopoly and Twister.”
There was also a rise in demand for perfume sets, underwear, jewellery and rings.