An estimated £1.5 billion was spent over the final weekend before Christmas as shoppers bagged some more presents on 'Panic Saturday', according to payments processor Worldpay.
According to the firm which handles 42% of all UK card transactions, its data suggests that retailers doubled their takings on Saturday, with in-store sales rising by as much as 164% compared to a typical weekend’s trading.
Middlesbrough residents were expected to be the most likely to leave their Christmas shopping until late. The town had the highest rise in sales during the last weekend before Christmas, at 164% more than an average weekend, followed by Walsall (159%) and Wigan (151%).
Handling £455 million worth of payments in the final weekend before Christmas last year, Worldpay claims national spending on cards reached around £1.1bn as panicked shoppers make a last-minute dash to the high street. That figure rises to £1.5bn once cash transactions are factored in.
Seperate Worldpay research suggests consumers will have spent an average of £431 on gifts for friends and family this Christmas. And while nearly a third of Brits claim to have finished their shopping before December, one in ten will leave it until Christmas Eve to finish buy their last gifts.
Dave Hobday, managing director at Worldpay UK, said: “Things haven’t been easy for bricks and mortar retailers this year, with empty stores on Black Friday symptomatic of how consumers are increasingly choosing to hunt for discount deals online rather than hitting the high-street."