Stores prepare for last minute shoppers on Frenzied Friday

Last few days of Christmas shopping in Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Last few days of Christmas shopping in Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Turkeys, Brussels sprouts and mince pies are set to fly off supermarket shelves on 'Frenzied Friday' as shoppers buy their groceries for Christmas.

It comes as struggling retailers could be about to suffer a sorry Christmas Eve as figures suggest consumers will spend significantly less than last year on one of the calendar's busiest shopping days.

Shoppers will spend £726 million on Christmas Eve this year, according to Sainsbury's Bank credit cards - a significant drop from last year's poll in which consumers said they expected to splash out £1.4 billion.

Sheridan Smith, marketing manager at intu Chapelfield, said they were expecting a busy Friday in Norwich.

'We're expecting Friday 23rd to be another busy day at intu Chapelfield. So far in the run up to Christmas the weekends have been particularly busy so those who prefer a more leisurely pace when they're shopping have chosen to come to intu Chapelfield later in the day, shopping until 8pm Monday to Saturday and 9pm on Thursdays,' she said.

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'Sales of our Gift Cards are really strong this year, the centre is recognised as Norwich's premier shopping destination and intu Gift Cards can be spent at other intu centres across the country too so they are the perfect present for friends and family who prefer to choose their own gift. 'There's definitely a 'buzzy' atmosphere in the centre and lots of smiling faces which is great.'

Supermarkets expect their busiest shopping day to be Friday - dubbed 'Frenzied Friday'.

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Tesco said Friday would be its busiest day of the year with over 10 million customers visiting its stores across the UK, and at the busiest point the supermarket will serve around 15,000 customers per minute.

The retailer said it will sell around a third of its Christmas turkeys on Friday - with nearly 200,000 customers buying their turkey crowns and birds, and over 10 million pigs in blankets will also be sold.

Customers were expected to buy 40 million Brussels sprouts across Thursday and Friday, and the supermarket said it will also sell around 3.5 million packs of carrots - which works out at around 27 million carrots.

But the Sainsbury's poll found that Christmas shoppers' total spending over this week will reach just £191 each, significantly down from last year's £272.

Meanwhile, post-Christmas shoppers are predicted to go on a £3.85 billion bargain hunt on Boxing Day, spending £2.95 billion on the high street and another £900 million online, according to and the Centre for Retail Research.

Shoppers are expected to spend £7.6 billion between Boxing Day and December 29, with 67% of this going into high street tills.

Analysts Springboard said retail footfall had decreased by 7.7% year on year for the week to date.

It said retailers were 'holding their breath' for shoppers to make a last dash to stores for a late boost ahead of post-Christmas sales.

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