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Now shops brace for the 'man dash'! Seven out of ten shoppers on Christmas Eve will be panic buying blokes, say experts Shoppers hit streets for 'most intense' day in build up to ChristmasMeanwhile, 70 per cent of shoppers tomorrow are expected to be men
Major stores have already started their seasonal sales offering discountsGap and French Connection have cut prices by up to 60 per centAbout 1.3bn expected to be spent on 'Manic Monday' – nearly 55m an hourAnd the shopping won't stop on Christmas Day with online record predicted
18:10 GMT, 23 December 2012
Britain's high street Christmas shopping frenzy has finally peaked – with only men still 'panic buying', according to retail bosses.
Millions hit the shops today for the six-hour 'window', leaving industry experts to describe today as the 'most intense' spending day in the festive build-up.
And now it is the turn of 'panic-buying' men to hit the high street, as retailers are predicting 70 per cent of shoppers tomorrow will be blokes.
Rush: Millions are set to grab a last-minute gift in the next couple of days
Richard Dodd, spokesman for the British Retail Consortium, said the six hours of trading today had led to a rush of shoppers on the streets.
He told the Mail Online: 'It will have been the busiest day, the most intense spending day that we have seen in the run up to Christmas because people have been restricted to shopping within those limited hours.'
And he said there was expected to be a significant number of people shopping online as the post-Christmas sales had already begun.
He said: 'There will be a notable amount of shopping online on Christmas Day and it may well be that it's the biggest Christmas Day for online spending that we have seen.'
Meanwhile, Jace Tyrrell, director of communications at the New West End Company, which represents hundreds of businesses in London's West End, said he expected tomorrow's shoppers to be mainly male.
He said: 'What we have tomorrow is man dash, where basically about 70 per cent of our shoppers will be men panic buying.'
'Man dash': Seven out of ten shoppers tomorrow are expected to be men panic buying, according to industry experts
He said overall he expected sales to be up anywhere between two and ten per cent on last year.
He said 'We are definitely on track to hit a million shoppers over Saturday, Sunday and Monday, which will be about 100m for us going through the tills.
Millions of shoppers mobbed high streets across Britain today as retailers slashed prices by up to 80 per cent in a desperate attempt to boost sluggish sales.
Major stores, including Argos, Currys PC World and House of Fraser, have already started their seasonal sales, offering huge discounts on clothes, electricals, homeware and toys.
Gap, whose sale began at the beginning of December, is offering up to 60 per cent off. Some of its items are discounted even further, while French Connection has also cut its prices by up to 60 per cent.
But while millions went shopping just as many are also believed to have stayed at home for one of the greatest online Christmas shopping sprees.
Retailers were bracing themselves for
huge crowds coming through the doors today, with tomorrow predicted to
be the busiest Christmas Eve ever.
Although today, December 23, is traditionally the busiest day, trading laws mean shops can only open for six hours on a Sunday.
Shopping frenzy: People in Glasgow do some last minute Christmas shopping. Retailers are bracing themselves for more crowds tomorrow
A poll by Sainsbury’s Bank has found a third of Britons will hit the shops tomorrow, with 17 million admitting they have not yet bought all their gifts.
About 1.3 billion is expected to be spent on ‘Manic Monday’ – nearly 55 million an hour – compared with 1 billion last year.
Helen Dickinson, of the British Retail Consortium, said sales have been hit by customers becoming cautious with their spending. She added that the rising cost of living – driven by higher food and energy prices – coupled with below-inflation pay rises has seen many families opt for an austerity Christmas.
Others have simply left their purchases until the last minute in the hope prices will fall.
‘Shopping was slow out of the starting blocks as pressure on budgets and fears about the future left many reluctant to commit to spending early,’ she said. ‘But it’s the finish which matters. With Christmas falling on a Tuesday, this weekend will be the critical one – I’m expecting a last-minute rush.’
…And the best discounts you can pick up today