SHOPPERS braved the snow and ice before Christmas and helped the Designer Outlet buck the national trend.

Between Christmas and January 2, McArthurGlen’s Designer Outlet, in Kemble Drive, reported record trading as total sales soared 18 per cent year on year with like-for-like sales increasing 20 per cent over the same period and footfall up nine per cent.

The designer outlet group – which has around 700 stores and welcomes nearly 30 million shoppers a year – attributed the increase to the rise in consumers receiving Christmas cash gifts and vouchers as a result of the pre-Christmas transport disruptions, which meant that families had to look for alternative gift ideas.

Tina Cumpstey, centre manager at McArthurGlen Swindon, said: “Shoppers were out in force from Boxing Day onwards, as centre visitors made the most of festive cash and voucher gifts and snapped up designer collections for less.

“Leading brands such as Hugo Boss and Marks and Spencer Outlet all reported their biggest week of sales ever.

“Sales peaked across the centre on Monday, December 27.

“The tempting offers also attracted international shoppers looking for designer brands in time for the New Year party season.”

Elsewhere in the town, the new John Lewis At Home store, which opened in October, also enjoyed success on December 27 when it saw its best ever day of trade.

A queue of 100 shoppers formed before the Mannington Retail Park store opened and there was a sales increase of 72 per cent on the previous best day.

Branch manager Dominic Joyce said: “Our first day of clearance was better than our previous best day and they weren’t only buying reduced items.

“New technology proved popular with iPods, iPads and the new Xbox 360 Kinect all selling well.”

The store’s clearance best sellers were 32in-screen televisions while cookware, china and glass also sold exceptionally well.

Mr Joyce said: “The first couple of days back after Christmas really were crazy and the four weeks leading up to Christmas were beyond our expectations. The car park was always busy which is what we like.”

Mr Joyce said the store had experienced a successful first three months and had met all its targets.

John Lewis yesterday published its national trading update for the five weeks to the beginning of the year.

The group’s total sales were £545 million, which was 8.9 per cent up compared with last year.

Like-for-like sales were up 7.6 per cent. Compared with two years ago total sales were 26.2 per cent up ,while like-for-like sales grew by 21.7 per cent.

On December 27, the first day of the sales, the John Lewis At Home store in the town enjoyed its strongest ever day’s trade.

The announcement comes just a day after high street giants HMV and Next reported huge losses and plans to axe a number of stores in a bid to save cash.