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Brits to spend £1.65bn on last minute Christmas purchases

Some 14.9 million shoppers are expected to spend £1.65bn on last minute Christmas purchases, new research by discount code website VoucherCodes and the Centre of Retail Research (CRR) has revealed – equating to £2.38m per minute.

Falling on 22 December, ‘Super Saturday’ is expected to see 10.1 million people descend on the high streets to spend £1.38bn. Online sales will peak the day before on ‘Frenzied Friday’, with £321m being rung through online tills, as 7.2m shoppers seek out last minute gifts while avoiding the high street crowds.

Frenzied Friday and Super Saturday: In-store vs online spend

Frenzied Friday Super Saturday
Number of shoppers Spend Number of shoppers Spend
In-store 10.3m £907m 10.1m £1.38bn
Online 7.2m £321m 4.8m £268m

A separate study by VoucherCodes and market research company Opinium revealed that food and drink (27%), fashion (17%), alcohol (16%) and toys (13%) top the Super Saturday shopping list and that last minute shoppers like to keep it local. Some 50% plan to visit a local shopping centre, while 25% will visit a local supermarket. A further 28% will buy online taking advantage of express delivery or click-and-collect facilities.

Brits’ Super Saturday shopping list:

  1.       Food – 27%
  2.       Clothing, footwear, accessories – 17%
  3.       Alcohol – 16%
  4.       Toys – 13%
  5.       Cosmetics and perfume – 11%
  6.       Homeware – 10%
  7.       Personal electronics – 10%
  8.       DVDs, computer games, books – 9%
  9.       Home electronics – 8%
  10.     White goods – 5%

Some 20% of Brits confessed to being last minute shoppers, of whom almost a third (32%) said it’s because they didn’t enjoy Christmas shopping and 23% struggled to find the time. Furthermore, 21% deliberately held out for bigger discounts, and 18% preferred the excitement of the 11th hour dash.

On the contrary, 22% claimed to buy gifts at the last minute because they worried they hadn’t bought enough. Overall, men are more likely to leave their festive shopping to the final moments than women (25% vs. 15% respectively), while last minute shoppers are most likely to come from London (31%), Scotland (29%) and Northern Ireland (27%).

Mums (21%) top the list of those we put off buying gifts for, followed by siblings (20%) and children (20%). Chocolates (26%) and perfumes (25%) top the nation’s last minute gift list, followed by clothes (25%), gift cards (21%) and alcohol (21%).

Top last-minute shopping list:

  1.       Chocolates – 26%
  2.       Perfume – 25%
  3.       Clothes – 25%
  4.       Gift cards and vouchers – 21%
  5.       Alcohol – 21%
  6.       Bath and shower/beauty products – 19%
  7.       Toys – 15%
  8.       Electronics – 14%
  9.       Candles – 14%
  10.     Flowers – 13%

Jimmy New, director of marketing at VoucherCodes, said: “Super Saturday will be a big shopping day for both retailers and consumers alike as millions flock to stores looking to snap up last minute gifts and other essentials before Christmas Day. It’ll certainly be one of the busiest shopping days on the high street, so if you do brave the shops expect crowds!

“If you’re keen to avoid the crush, we recommend trying to get those few last gifts online on “Frenzied Friday” – luckily, many retailers can still offer delivery in time for Christmas if you place your order early enough. Check out our list of the last order dates to make sure you’re not left disappointed.”

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