Retailers are bracing themselves for a stampede of last-minute shoppers this Saturday, with more than 12.6m customers tipped to spend over £1.1bn on last minute Christmas presents and food.
Consumers will splash out £2.2m every minute on so-called Panic Saturday, leading to a £6bn shopping spree over the six days to Christmas overall, according to research by VoucherCodes.co.uk and the Centre for Retail Research (CRR).
However, high streets are expected to be more subdued than last year as Brits take advantage of Christmas falling later this year to order more online.
Vouchercodes and CCR forecast 3.6m customers will take advantage of final delivery dates on 19 December spending £220m.
Overall spending in the week before Christmas is expected to surge by 23 per cent on 2014. However, in-store spending on Saturday is expected to be down from last year’s £1.2bn because of the extra day of shopping ahead of 25 December, giving customers more time to shop.
Claire Davenport, managing director, VoucherCodes.co.uk, said, “We’re expecting slightly fewer Panic Saturday shoppers out on British high streets this year due to the longer gap between the last festive shopping weekend and Christmas Day. However, 12.6m people is still a significant turnout and launches almost a full week of last minute spending.
“This is set to be almost a fifth higher than in 2014, so it’s crucial that retailers are prepared in order to capitalise on this pre-Christmas boost and offer customers a seamless experience,” she added.