Consumers poised for £3.9bn festive spending splurge as sales get under way

Shoppers are gearing up for a mammoth £3.9 billion spending spree in the festive sales, with men tipped to outspend women in the hunt for a bargain.

Research from Barclaycard shows that four in 10 adults plan to shop in the sales over the period, anticipating an average spend of £188 each.

Men will be the biggest spenders, with findings showing they expect to shell out 50% more than women at £227 compared with £151.

Boxing Day is the most popular day to shop during the Christmas sales period, according to Barclaycard, with three in 10 Britons planning to hit the sales on December 26.

Last year’s figures for Boxing Day shows that spending rose more than 10%.

Konrad Kelling, managing director of customer solutions at Barclaycard, said: “Whilst most plan to spend Boxing Day with friends and family, Brits also don’t want to miss out on the best deals to be had.

“Surprisingly, men plan to spend more than women in the sales this year – whether that be staying up late to buy that must-have item or even browsing online during the family festivities.”

But more and more consumers are planning to start their sales shopping even earlier, with three in 10 bargain-hunters beginning their spree on Christmas Eve and 17% on Christmas Day.

Of those Christmas Day shoppers, three in 10 said this is because of fear of missing out on a bargain.

High street firms hoping for a boon after a torrid year will be in for disappointment as online will again steal the show.

Four in five of those who plan to shop in the sales will do some online, with 69% saying they will make the majority of their purchases online – up from 42% in 2017.

Nearly a third of those who intend to shop online plan to use their smartphone or tablet to make a purchase.

Mr Kelling added: “Boxing Day remains the most popular day to shop for bargains over the Christmas period. However, this year the majority of consumers plan to shop online from the comfort and convenience of their own home rather than braving the winter weather and crowds on the high street.”