Shoppers are expected to spend £1.65 billion on Super Saturday this weekend as they hit the high street in preparation for Christmas Day.
Some 10.1 million shoppers will visit the beleaguered high street to spend £1.38 billion on gifts and festive food and drink, while 4.8 million will spend £268 million online in the hope that their purchases can be delivered on time, according to predictions by VoucherCodes.co.uk and the Centre for Retail Research.
The anticipated rush should provide a fillip after a disappointing weekend for retailers with gales, snow and freezing rain brought by Storm Deirdre blamed for lower shopper numbers.
Combined footfall for high streets, retail parks and shopping centres was down 4.3% on the same weekend last year, according to retail intelligence experts Springboard.
The UK high street has been hit hard this year as several large companies entered administration including House of Fraser and Evans Cycles, which were both bought by Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley.
Names such as Toys R Us UK, Poundworld and electronic retailer Maplin also fell into administration, while fashion chain New Look, Marks & Spencer and Debenhams all announced store closures.
On Monday, online retailer Asos warned over sales and profits after experiencing a “significant deterioration” in trading in the run-up to Christmas.
Meanwhile Mike Ashley has claimed Debenhams is on the brink of collapse and the former chief executive of Marks and Spencer Lord Rose told ITV News he expects more retailers to fail in the New Year.
Online sales are expected to peak on ‘Frenzied Friday’ this week as 7.2 million shoppers spend £321 million on last-minute gifts.
Footfall is expected to be up 20% on the daily average on Super Saturday, while Sunday and Christmas Eve are anticipated to both be up by 5%, according to retail analysts ShopperTrak.
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.”