The public sector strike on Wednesday delivered a much-needed fillip to the high street after footfall surged by nearly 40 per cent.
Many parents who were forced to take the day off work to look after their children opted to go Christmas shopping after the walk out by 1.5 million public sector workers closed hundreds of schools.
Experian Footfall reported that visits to shops leapt by 38.31 per cent on Wednesday, compared with the same day of the week last year.
The research firm said: "The difference this year was that with no snow, public sector workers and others taking the day off work to care for their children off school, took advantage of the strike action and opted to do Christmas shopping." The Bluewater shopping centre in Kent said footfall was up 20 per cent on a typical Wednesday.
Following two weeks of falling sales, John Lewis also benefited and grew revenues by 10.5 per cent in the four days to the end of Wednesday.