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High street stores braced for rush on 'panic Saturday'

Shoppers are expected to spend millions as they buy last-minute Christmas gifts. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA

High street spending is set to reach £1.2 billion today as festive shoppers hit the stores on "Panic Saturday".

Thirteen million consumers will spend £2.1 million for every minute the shops are open on last-minute gifts and groceries at an average of £92.31 per person, according to a report by the Centre for Retail Research (CRR).

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Retailers set to lose over £1 billion during festive season

Retailers in the United Kingdom are expected to lose £1 billion over Christmas as a result of shoplifting, dishonest employees and vendor or distribution losses, according to a new study released today by the Centre for Retail Research.

Experts are predicting that over £1bn will be lost over Christmas Credit: Clive Gee/PA Wire

The report, funded by an independent grant from Checkpoint Systems, suggests that the losses incurred by the retail industry over this period could add an extra £38.09 to each UK family's shopping bill.

The report found that UK retailers could lose £522 million through shoplifting, £431 million through employee theft, and £47 million through vendor and distribution losses.

In total, the losses could represent a 3.4% per cent increase over the same period last year.

Retailers predict busiest day of year for online shopping

  • Amazon.co.uk have predicted that Cyber Monday will be its biggest single day, with orders set to peak at 9.20pm.
  • Marks & Spencer also said it was prepared for what it expects to be its busiest day of the year.
  • Online analyst Experian expects UK consumers to make 115 million visits to retail websites on this year's Cyber Monday, an increase of 36% on last year.
  • Asda Direct says it is expecting to see a 50% spike in traffic to its electronic equipment retail section, compared with a normal Monday.
  • CD sales are also expected to increase by 70%, while some popular DVD titles are due for a 50% rise, the retailer said.
  • John Lewis have reported a record week for its online sales, soaring to £37.9 million, and the third best ever week for John Lewis department stores, topping £124.2 million.
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