A number of the UK's leading high street retailers have launched summer sales today in a bid to encourage shoppers through the doors.

Department store Debenhams cut up to 50 per cent off around two million products this morning, according to a report by the Daily Mail. Offers on clothes, shoes, homeware products, furniture and beauty items are available in-store and online.

A spokesman for Debenhams told the newspaper: "The scheduled in-store and online sale, which starts slightly earlier than last year, begins today and falls against a continuing backdrop of food inflation at a two-year high and a 19 per cent rise in gas bills."

House of Fraser also unveiled what it described as "the best ever summer sale", with up to 50 per cent off products in-store and through its website. Another UK high street giant, John Lewis, is expected to announce its own offers in response. George, Asda's clothing department, is currently running a mid-season sale with up to half price off.

Pavement signs and poster frames announcing sales, discounts and special offers are sure to start appearing in more shops over the coming days as other retailers react.