Britain is expected to witness increased sales activity in the last few days leading to Christmas because of last minute shoppers. The six-day shopping spree will see Britons spend £6bn, according to the Centre for Retail Research.
That figure is a 23% rise from 2014. Shoppers could spend £2.2m every minute in stores and a further £220m online on 19 December — the first day of the last weekend before Christmas, also referred to as Panic Saturday, according to the research company and VoucherCodes.co.uk.
However, the number of Panic Saturday shoppers this time will be 12.6 million, lower than 2014's 13 million, because of the longer gap between the weekend and Christmas Day. However, as 25 December falls on Friday, retailers have an extra day this year in the week of Christmas, allowing them to lure more customers to their stores, according to The Telegraph.
According to Springboard, this extra day will help boost footfall over the week, which starts on 22 December, by 1% compared to last year. It, however, expects this year's shopping footfalls during this week to be lower than last year because of the popularity of online shopping. It could be similar to the 2015 Black Friday which fell on November when offline sales were lower as consumers preferred the online medium to make their purchases.
Visa on the other hand expects consumer spending on its cards in stores on Panic Saturday to be 3% higher than last year at £1.14bn. One in every three pounds in the country is spent on a Visa card.
The day is also expected to see 34 million transactions, from tills in retail parks, shopping centres and on high streets, an annual increase of 10%. Sales for retailers, however, do not stop with Christmas as a day after they will attract customers by launching Boxing Day sales, where people can grab discounts of up to 70%.