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British retailers gear up for pre-Christmas rush

British retailers gear up for pre-Christmas rush

Shoppers will spend more this week than at any point of the year in the final Christmas 2014 shopping spree.

Supermarkets and shops prepare for the biggest shopping week of the year as consumers rush to finish their Christmas shopping. Visa forecast around £1.3 billion will be spent on credit cards as the final dash to complete Christmas lists begins.

Just Tuesday’s spend is projected to surpass that of Panic Saturday, where consumers are estimated to have spent around £1.2 billion, according to the Centre for Retail Research (CRR). However, it’ll take a gargantuan splurge to eclipse that of the internet-fuelled spending bonanza that was Black Friday.


£1 million will be spent per minute between 1pm to 2pm

The busiest time of day is expected to fall between 1pm and 2pm where an estimated £60 million worth of transactions will take place. That’s £1 million per minute and around £15,000 a second.

“It’s the day when disorganised Christmas shoppers panic-buying last-minute presents meet the organised shoppers preparing to buy fresh food for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day,” said Joshua Bamfield, director of the CRR. He estimates around ten million shoppers will be active.


This week is expected to be busier on the high street as there simply isn’t time to confidently expect an online parcel to be delivered, especially considering the number of delays to deliveries following Black Friday’s spending spree.

The number of customers taking to the streets has surprised a few retailers, but more than that, the hordes of internet shoppers highlighted how underprepared some of the retailing giants were in the online sector.

Sainsbury’s suffered a computer failure that cancelled hundreds of online orders, customers have been offered re-delivery dates but they won’t be receiving anything before Christmas. Waitrose also had a few IT hiccups that put their website “into meltdown” and culminated in a number of failed deliveries on Sunday night and Monday morning.

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