LONDON, December 19th, 2013.
With just four more sleeps until the big day, a new study released today by TotallyMoney.com in partnership with the Centre for Retail Research, reveals that 13 million panic stricken consumers are set to hit the high street on Saturday 21st December spending a whopping £1.31 billion on last minute Christmas gifts on the busiest high street shopping day of the year. With more retailers staging pre-Christmas flash sales, more consumers are waiting until the 11th hour to complete their shopping in the vain hope that prices will be reduced on this year’s Christmas must haves.
Credit card bills will be hiked by £300 million as 2.98 million (23%) of these shoppers reach for plastic to buy their goods, enjoying the benefit of around 56 days interest free credit, section 75 protection and for some, rewards and cash back. However, debit cards will still garner favour with 27% shying away from credit, spending a total of £355 million. Most surprisingly, 41% of consumers are expected to opt for cash with £537 million worth of good old Sterling passing through the tills on the UK’s busiest high street shopping day of the year. Across all forms of payment, Saturday’s shoppers are expected to part with £1.8 million per minute completing their Christmas shopping.
It seems by 23rd December consumer faith in last minute online delivery promises is low with just 3.2 million people spending £110 million online. However, much of this could be people finding cheaper prices on tablets or mobiles while they’re on the high street. On average, consumers will spend around £100 each across all channels.
Will Becker, CEO and co-founder of TotallyMoney.com comments: “Saturday is going to be an important day for the retail sector as consumers pound the streets in search of last minute bargains. January was always the time that people looked for reductions, but this trend has shifted to December in recent years as struggling retailers are forced to drop prices in pre-Christmas sales as they try to entice consumers through the doors. Already, we have been bombarded with 50% price cuts from brands such as M&S alongside ASOS, Argos, Gap, House of Fraser, Clarks and George of Asda to name but a few. Some of these brands entered online price wars, particularly across the top Christmas must haves, as early as November.
“There is still a tendency amongst consumers to reach for their debit card to pay for purchases instead of credit cards. Almost two thirds (61%) of all UK adults have a credit card, but the majority are using cards that don’t maximise the benefits. Consumers could earn typically around £6.5 million in cashback on their plastic spending this Saturday alone, in effect enjoying anything up to 5% off the cost of all last minute shopping. In addition, for those using debit cards or cash, it’s a shame to miss out on the Section 75 protection that credit cards offer on purchases over £100, protecting you if something goes wrong and the retailer isn’t in a position to help.
“Credit cards can be the best form of payment if consumers use them responsibly and only spend what they can afford to pay off. In an ideal world we would like to see people carrying out all their spending on the best cashback credit card, receiving an average of 1% for every purchase made if they pay their bill off in full every month.”
To research the best credit card deals available, visit TotallyMoney.com. The website enables consumers to see exactly how much money they will earn or save by switching to the best deals based on annual spend, borrowing and repayments. It also identifies which of these deals consumers are actually eligible for currently a major inefficiency with rejection rates hitting 70%.
TotallyMoney.com, launched in 2007, is the UK’s leading credit-focussed comparison website which sets out to make it simpler for consumers to compare credit cards, loans and mortgages. With a revolutionary approach to credit comparison, TotallyMoney.com uses exceptional comparison tools to empower people to make better financial choices.
As part of the Media Ingenuity Group, TotallyMoney.com sits alongside affinity credit card brands. Fluid is a portfolio of market leading ‘prime’ products issued in partnership with MBNA, Luma a ‘sub-prime’ credit card partnership with Capital One and Granite card with Vanquis Bank. Being both a credit comparison service and a marketer of credit card brands gives the business a unique and in-depth perspective of the industry.
 All research and analysis is based on market analysis carried out by Professor Joshua Bamfield from the Centre for Retail Research (CRR). The results are derived from published national and international retail and economic data, BRC, Euromonitor and Mintel, previous studies by CRR, and a survey of 50 large retailers across Europe. All figures are quoted in value terms wherever possible at current prices with no seasonal adjustments.
 Overall sales will be £1,310,000,000 on Saturday 21st December.
Based on shops being open 12 hours there are 720 minutes in 12 hours.
£1,310,000,000 divided by 720 = £1,819,444.44 per minute.