Retailers saw an upturn in their sales and profits during the festive period after extending their opening hours and promoting their stores on social media.

Sandeep Bains, who owns Simply Fresh in Kent, ran a seven-day sponsored advert on Facebook in the run up to Christmas Day, which he says led to doubled sales on Christmas Day.

“It was viewed by 6,000 people, with multiple shares and more than 100 likes,” he told RN. “We took more on Christmas Day than on Christmas Eve, and we were much busier than last year, particularly on Christmas Day. New Year’s Day was excellent again, almost double sales.”

Sunder Sandher, of S&S One Stop in the West Midlands, said sales were up 17% on Christmas Day, while profits rose by 3%, which he attributes to using Facebook and Twitter to tell people about extended opening hours and giveaways such as free mince pies on Christmas Day.

He said: “I was very proactive on Facebook and Twitter to show off our promotions. We gave away a case of Prosecco through our Facebook page and had lots of likes and shares. It was really successful to raise awareness that we were open on Christmas Day.”

He also extended opening hours by one hour, until 11pm on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Day and in the days following Christmas Day, which he believes also helped boost sales. “After 6pm when the big stores close it’s all go, go, go,” he said.

Harry Goraya, who owns Nisa Local in Northfleet, also changed his Christmas Day opening hours. Previously he opened from 11am-2pm, with a break before opening again from 6-8pm, but this year he decided to stay open in the afternoon and close earlier.

“It went better, we made more sales because we optimised what we could do,” he said.