Consumer spending is set to hit huge levels over the festive period as retailers look set to recover lost trade during this month’s snowfall.
At least £23 million is set to be spent every hour today (Christmas Eve) according to Sainsbury’s Credit Cards, as shoppers make up for lost time to grab their last minute gifts.
Then on Christmas day over £150 million will be spent online according to new research from the Interactive Media in Retail Group.
Price comparison site Moneysupermarket.com estimates that the January sales will start with a bang with trading on Boxing Day expected to be up 15 per cent from last year.
The increased spending trends will come as a welcome relief to many retailers who have been severely affected by heavy snowfall across the country in recent weeks.
Brent Cross Shopping Centre had to close last Saturday during the worst of the snow but has made up for it in the last two days with consecutive largest footfall rates on record.
Centre manager Tom Nathan told Retail Gazette: “We have been very busy since opening at 07:00 BST today, in particular at our grocers Marks & Spencer and Tesco, as shoppers get the last provisions for Christmas lunch.
“We expect to get even busier once the men and teenagers wake up and desperately rush to finish their present buying.”
Of those in Moneysupermarket.com’s survey 45 per cent of men said they would be Christmas shopping today compared to 39 per cent of women.
The survey also found that 1.4 million people intend to do more than half of their Christmas shopping today and nearly 600,000 will be doing over 80 per cent of their shopping.
Stuart McKeggie, Head of Sainsbury’s Credit Cards, commented: “Once again there looks set to be a mad dash to the shops on Christmas Eve as many people leave their shopping to the last minute.
“The extreme weather conditions this December have wreaked havoc with people’s shopping plans which means that some of us will be dashing around the shops later than perhaps hoped.”