Christmas shoppers will spend £894m (£865,158 per minute), on Friday alone, according to research from the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) and VoucherCodes.co.uk.
Festive shopping is set to peak on the last Friday before Christmas — a day that many UK workers will receive their December pay cheques — with consumers stocking up on presents, food and drink for family and friends.
The study suggests that 10 million Brits will flock to stores and head online to buy last-minute gifts and groceries, including 8.7 million people who choose to shop in store, spending £734m.
Meanwhile, 4.57 million people are planning to shop online, the majority of whom will be in London, according to the Centre for Retail Research, making use of guaranteed one-hour or next day delivery services.
As many as 3.27 million consumers are expected to shop both in store and online in order to get everything they need ahead of Christmas Day.
Overall, UK spending on Friday is predicted to represent one quarter (25%) of all expenditure on this day across Europe.
“Because Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, Britain’s high streets with be especially busy on the Friday before the big day – especially as this is also the date many of us will get our December payslips,” said Claire Davenport, managing director of VoucherCodes.co.uk. “Shoppers should be prepared for very busy stores as our research predicts there will be 8.7 million British shoppers scouring the high street for last-minute presents on December 23rd.”
Friday is also predicted to be busy on the roads, according to new RAC Traffic Watch data which shows that leisure travellers taking 3.5 million trips will join the last day of regular traffic before Christmas.
Saturday, Christmas Eve, is expected to see the most getaway journeys, with 3.8 million planned, and another 3.5 million journeys are anticipated on Christmas Day.