Panic Saturday: last-minute shoppers set to spend £6bn

The weekend will see shoppers spend £2.2m a minute

Shoppers are set to descend on the high street on ‘Panic Saturday’ in an eleventh hour rush to buy presents on the last weekend before Christmas, reports The Telegraph.

Britons are expected to spend £2.2m every minute in stores on Saturday, December 19, and a further £220m online, according to the Centre for Retail Research and

Shops are braced to welcome 12.6m people on Saturday, slightly less than last year’s 13m, due to the longer gap between the weekend and Christmas Day.

Visa predicts that consumers will spend £1.14bn on Visa cards in stores on Saturday, 3pc more than the same day last year.

Tills in retail parks, shopping centres and on high streets are predicted to ring up 34m transactions during the day, a yearly increase of 10pc.

One in every three pounds in the UK is spent on a Visa card.

As December 25 falls on a Friday this year, retailers have an extra day of trading in the week of Christmas, which means that sales over the week should be higher.

This extra shopping day will help boost footfall over the week starting Monday 22nd December by 1pc compared to last year, according to Springboard.

Panic Saturday will kick off a 6-day shopping spree, during which consumers will spend £6bn – 23pc more than last year – according to the Centre for Retail Research.

Retailers will also lure shoppers into their stores by launching Boxing Day sales on the day after Christmas. Queues often form outside shops as people wait to get their hands on discounts of up to 70pc.

However, the week’s increase in footfall is smaller than last year, when footfall was 1.2pc higher than 2013, which Springboard said was due to the popularity of online shopping.

Black Friday was deemed to be a damp squib this year after consumers shunned the stores in favour of online shopping, giving the UK’s internet retail industry its strongest day on record.