Retailers make final push for Christmas sales

Retailers are making a final push for sales ahead of the final weekend before Christmas, as more than a third of consumers are expected to shop on Christmas Eve.

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Nearly 17.2 million people, 36 per cent of UK adults, have left their shopping until Christmas Eve, according to a recent survey by Sainsbury’s Bank.

Shoppers are expected to spend almost £55m per hour, totalling £1.3bn on Christmas Eve - more than the £1bn spent on the same day last year.

Marks & Spencer and John Lewis are gearing up to start their sales on Christmas eve while Debenhams will launch what it claims is its biggest ever sale on Boxing Day (26 December) offering £180m worth of savings.

John Lewis will run TV and print ads to promote its clearance sales.

Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s are also extending opening times, with M&S opening at midnight on Christmas Eve to catch last minute shoppers. LINK

As retailers face the busiest shopping weekend of the year, it has emerged that consumer confidence slumped in the run up to Christmas as households continue to feel the pressure of the downturn.

According to the latest consumer confidence index from GfK, UK households are more downbeat about their financial situation than in November and many do not expect it to improve next year.

Asda’s latest income tracker revealed earlier this week that UK families have £50 less to spend at Christmas than they had two years ago.

Separately, John Lewis is running its 90-second snowman Christmas ad in full during the broadcast of The Snowman and the Snowdog on Channel 4 on Christmas Eve. The full ad has not aired since the start of the campaign in November. Th ad has been viewed 2.8 million times on YouTube.

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