.uk domain registrations top 50,000 on opening day

.uk has become the fastest selling new country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) after seeing registrations surpass 50,000 in opening 24 hours following its launch.

Nominet, the UK domain name registry, reports that the likes of Sainsbury’s, Bentley and Burberry have all already snapped up .uk domain names and it represents just a small proportion of the 10 million that are expected to register.

“Consumers and brands alike are showing their trust in .uk domains, with our registration rates climbing to ten times the typical daily rate. We’re thrilled with the response, which shows the excitement people feel about the shorter, sharper domain within the trusted .uk namespace ,” comments Eleanor Bradley, Chief Operating Officer at Nominet.

Its registrations have outpaced the likes of .london, .guru and .xyz in the current batch of ccTLDs thus meaning its first day is one of the fastest on record in the domain name suffix market.

Related: .uk domain name finally launches, first site goes to Stephen Fry

Nominet celebrated the release by unveiling the world’s largest welcome sign reading ‘welcometothe.uk’ at London’s Heathrow Airport and Stephen Fry became the first person to claim an address with the new suffix, which can be found at Stephenfry.uk.

.uk was first proposed by Nominet back in October 2012 and the initial opposition to the plan has given way to optimism that saw 93 per cent of companies state that .uk is their preferred choice.

10 million existing domain name holders have first refusal on the shorter suffix and will get five years to decide whether to use it in addition to or instead of the current domain.

Domains that have not been claimed are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and will be charged at £3.50 for a single year and £2.50 per year if multiple years are paid for.