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Verdict predicts billions will be spent in final weekend before Christmas
With Christmas Eve falling on a Tuesday this year, retailers should prepare themselves for an extremely busy weekend on 20-22 December, according to new figures released by retail analysts Verdict.
Not everyone is super-organized at Christmas and this year will see many people doing some last minute shopping during the weekend before the festive week starting Tuesday 24 December.
Verdict Retail expects that weekend to see a 20% rise in spending in the UK, compared to last year, with an estimated £12 billion (US$19.6 billion) being shelled out by last minute shoppers.
Stocking up the fridge and drinks cabinet will likely account for the majority of spending that weekend - £6 billion (US$9.7 billion) worth according to Verdict - and £2 billion (US$3.3 billion) spent on non-food items online.
"To put £12 billion (US$19.6 billion) in context, shoppers spent £17 billion (US$27.7 billion) in October: it's a huge amount," said Andrew Stevens, Verdict's senior retail analyst. "People have been putting things off to see if they can get a bigger deal, but also you have the fact that the 23rd falls on a Monday. People know they can wait to the end of this week and still have three days to shop."
As with other busy shopping periods, retailers need to ensure their websites are performing during this time of heavy use. A slow-loading website will turn away online shoppers and could even result in negative brand perception.
Image via Shutterstock
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