Panic Saturday is here: 12.6m Britons hit the shops for busiest day of Christmas shopping as sales start early at M&S, Sports Direct, H&M, Argos and Sainsbury's

Clara Guibourg
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Christmas Shoppers Brave Crowds During So-Called 'Panic Saturday'
We're spending £1.1bn today alone (Source: Getty)

Brace yourselves, Panic Saturday is here.

If you still haven’t bought your Christmas presents, be prepared for crowds. A stampede of last minute Christmas shoppers are bearing down on UK retailers today, making it the busiest day of this year’s Christmas shopping.

12.6 million Britons are forecast to hit the shops, spending over £1.1bn on gifts and food today alone, which rather explains why it has been nicknamed “Panic Saturday”.

The day is the start of a six-day shopping spree with sales expected to total £6bn, which is a 23 per cent surge on last year.

Claire Davenport, managing director of said:

It’s crucial that retailers are prepared in order to capitalise on this pre-Christmas boost and offer customers a seamless experience.

It may be crowded, but this year, at least last minute shoppers can enjoy some discounts. Christmas sales have started early, in a break with tradition, as slow sales caused by the unseasonably warm weather mean shops are hoping to get rid of an oversupply of stock.

Retailers including H&M, Marks and Spencer, Sports Direct, Sainsbury’s and Argos are slashing prices even before Christmas, meaning shoppers still trying to find the right gift can expect discounts of 45 per cent on average, according to accountancy firm Deloitte.

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