Shops are preparing themselves for a post-Christmas sales boost despite the aftershocks from the September 11 terrorist attacks.

A handful of stores were open on Boxing Day, when managers said the first indications showed people were planning to spend, spend, spend despite the lingering fears of a recession fuelled by the terrorism.

Security staff at Churchill Square in Brighton said they had more than 200 calls yesterday morning from people asking what time they should start queueing to get the best buys.

One guard said bargain-hunters seemed undeterred when advised that the first shops, including Next, would open at 4.45am today.

He said people were planning to camp outside in a bid to get their hands on the best buys.

He said: "Last year, they started queueing very early and we are expecting the same again this year."

Hundreds of people flocked into Borders Books in Churchill Square yesterday.

Marketing manager Ruth Calder, said: "All the tills are on and they are all busy.

"I would say we had at least 150 people in the store at any one time."

Courts Superstores in Eastern Avenue, Shoreham, said the flow of trade yesterday was a good sign for the Sussex economy.

Manager Richard Smart said: "The car park has been full all day - we have had hundreds of people coming in.

"Things really are busy and we have been rushed off our feet. It is a good sign the retail economy is doing well."

A spokesman for DFS Furniture store in Goldstone Retail Park, Old Shoreham Road, Hove, said its manager was too busy to comment as he was serving customers.