Christmas shopping will help high street spending hit record highs

 
Lynsey Barber
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Retailers have had a bumper year (Source: Getty)

Spending on the UK's high streets is expected to smash records this year as shoppers splurged over the Christmas period setting tills ringing.

Retail sales are expected to reach an all-time high of £342bn this year, a rise of £48bn compared to 2010, government figures suggest.

Spending is also expected to break records tomorrow as the number of people hunting down bargains before Boxing Day even begins rises.

Shoppers will be heading online tomorrow to spend an estimated £636m, or £441,000 every minute, retail group IMRG and Experian predict. That represents a 36 per cent increase on Christmas Day last year and the most ever spent on 25 December.

Thanks to tablets and smartphones, some shoppers will be online while they’re still digesting the turkey, but Boxing Day, traditionally the big shopping day of the year, will attract the majority of consumers when £748m is expected to be spent.

Neither days quite match up to Black Friday however, when it’s thought £810m changed hands between shoppers and retailers, or the biggest shopping day of the year yesterday, when Christmas shoppers were expected to have spent £1.3bn.

High street and online retailers are not the only ones to benefit from the boom, with small businesses also expecting record turnover of £72bn this year based on estimates by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Business minister Matt Hancock said the retail sector would receive another boost next year after the government promised a review of business rates.

“The return of the high street is fantastic news and goes to show that we are on course for prosperity. More business are starting up, thriving and creating jobs for people. We have consistently backed retail and the review of business rates announced in this year’s Autumn Statement should be another big boost for Britain’s high streets,” said Hancock.

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