Last-minute £1.6bn Christmas Eve frenzy as 16million hit the shops with men outnumbering women

Shoppers will blow £1.6 billion today in a mad frenzy for last-minute Christmas gifts.  

Nine million high street shoppers are expected – with today being the only day of the year when male shoppers outnumber female, with six in 10 shoppers being men.

Seven million more people will also pounce on the best deals online and splash £734 million before midnight, almost double the Christmas Eve online spend last year, a Centre for Retail Research study for VoucherCodes said. 

Jewellery, perfume, lingerie and chocolates will be big-sellers as men shell out £850 million for loved ones ahead of Christmas tomorrow.  

Experts say that spending has been delayed until Christmas Eve as shoppers wait for bigger discounts. 

And Boxing Day sales have also started early online, with major retailers setting their deals live on Christmas Eve afternoon.   

Northumberland Street, in Newcastle, packed with shoppers doing their last-minute shopping on Christmas Eve

Nine million high street shoppers are expected – with today is the only day of the year when male shoppers outnumber female, with six in 10 shoppers being men

Nine million high street shoppers are expected – with today is the only day of the year when male shoppers outnumber female, with six in 10 shoppers being men

Early morning Christmas eve food shopping at Sainsbury's in Locksbottom, Bromley, South East London

Early morning Christmas eve food shopping at Sainsbury’s in Locksbottom, Bromley, South East London

Experts say that spending has been delayed until Christmas Eve as shoppers wait for bigger discounts

Experts say that spending has been delayed until Christmas Eve as shoppers wait for bigger discounts

Shopping online is predicted to continue on Christmas Day with more than £1billion splashed out by an estimated 11million buyers, according to a Centre for Retail Research study for VoucherCodes

Shopping online is predicted to continue on Christmas Day with more than £1billion splashed out by an estimated 11million buyers, according to a Centre for Retail Research study for VoucherCodes

Shoppers took to social media to share photos of queues and share their frustrations at the business of Christmas Eve shopping. 

And the heavy male presence was commented on, with people joking about long lines of men outside jewellry store Pandora. 

One said: ‘The amount of men queued up outside Pandora on Christmas Eve is something that you really hate to see x.’ 

Another said: ‘The local paper reports that people were queuing out the door of Pandora in the out-of-town retail park at nine this morning. There’s a photo and, to nobody’s surprise, all the customers who inflicted this needless misery on themselves by leaving it so late are middle-aged men.’

Post-Christmas sales started on Monday as Debenhams’ online sale began. 

Next, John Lewis and AO.com, M&S, TopShop, Topman Boots and Body Shop are set to start web sales on Christmas Eve.

Further unannounced in-store flash discounts are also expected.  

Professor Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research, said: ‘Christmas Eve will be the biggest ever. 

‘It’s due to bigger spending on post-Christmas sales starting early online on Christmas Eve, and high streets seeing plenty of men who have left shopping until the last minute. 

‘Big-hitters in retail will jump the gun and launch Boxing Day sales on their websites. 

‘Shoppers want to get in early to get the best deals, so they will shop online on Christmas Eve. 

People line up outside a butchers on Christmas Eve

The last minute rush for Christmas goodies has started, with people lining up this morning to pick up meat

Fans of Birds bread, cakes and pies are queueing at bakeries across Derbyshire and Staffordshire this morning in a bid to get their hands on Christmas treats

Fans of Birds bread, cakes and pies are queueing at bakeries across Derbyshire and Staffordshire this morning in a bid to get their hands on Christmas treats

‘Shops will see a big increase in the proportion of male shoppers, with chocolates, jewellery, lingerie and flowers all big-sellers for men trying to be romantic.’ 

Jason Gordon of analysts Deloitte said: ‘Retailers will offer Boxing Danny sales prices early.’ 

Trevor Pereira, commercial director for intu – one of Britain’s biggest shopping centre owners with 14 malls including Manchester’s Trafford Centre, Gateshead’s Metrocentre, Essex’s Lakeside and Braehead, near Glasgow – said: ‘We expect a flurry of excitement as shoppers stock up on last-minute goods, with some men completing their gift-buying.’ 

Christmas Day will also see record sales with shoppers splashing £1.2million-a-minute on a record £1.4billion ‘Cyber Christmas Day’.

One in four adults will spend in a landmark December 25 blowout 10 times bigger than 10 years ago.

It will also be the biggest mobile phone shopping day ever – with 80p in every pound spent via phones.

Christmas Day Online Spending  

2019: £1.19bn

2018 £1bn

2017 £895m

2016 £805m

2015 £728m

2014 £636m

2013 £477m

2012 £307m

2011 £180m

2010 £153m

2009 £120m

A £1.19bn web spree will be up almost 20 per cent on last year’s £1.00bn, said a Centre for Retail Research study for VoucherCodes, based on interviews with 80 major UK retailers and 1,000 shoppers.

The online spend works out at £1.24m-a-minute over the 16 hours most are awake on Christmas Day. 

In 2009, just £120m was spent on December 25.

Big surges in transactions are forecast at 10am after cash presents and gift vouchers are opened, and at 5pm before families settle down for an evening of TV.

Discounts of up to 70 per cent will be available. Big-sellers will be electronic items, analysts say, while Amazon spending trends show MP3 music downloads and movies will be popular.

Online spending on December 25 will be three times higher than an average day.

Boxing Day sales started online yesterday and many high street stores will slash prices today as they battle to overcome a huge slump in shopper numbers.

Debenhams launched its online sale with big savings across fashions, beauty, electricals and toys, while other top names will follow today.

John Lewis begins its clearance sale online at 5pm while Marks & Spencer launches its version at lunchtime.

On Christmas Day online spending is expected to hit £1billion, with experts predicting 11 million shoppers will splurge £1.19bn – a 20 per cent increase from last year. 

House of Fraser is already claiming big reductions while Currys PC World is offering up to £500 off supersize ultra high-definition TVs along with deals on smartphones and laptops from 7am. 

Online fashion brands Boohoo and ASOS have been running sales for more than four weeks and yesterday were claiming savings of 80 per cent.

Stores have mountains of stock to clear after the expected rush of shoppers on ‘Super Saturday’ failed to deliver a surge in takings. 

Boxing Day sales started online yesterday and many high street stores will slash prices today as they battle to overcome a huge slump in shopper numbers. Last minute shoppers are pictured on Marylebone High Street in London

Boxing Day sales started online yesterday and many high street stores will slash prices today as they battle to overcome a huge slump in shopper numbers. Last minute shoppers are pictured on Marylebone High Street in London

House of Fraser is also claiming big reductions while Currys PC World is offering up to £500 off supersize ultra high-definition TVs. Shoppers are pictured on London's Oxford Street during last year's Boxing Day sales

House of Fraser is also claiming big reductions while Currys PC World is offering up to £500 off supersize ultra high-definition TVs. Shoppers are pictured on London’s Oxford Street during last year’s Boxing Day sales

Shoppers are seen on Boxing Day 2018 outside another Oxford Street store. Boxing Day sales started online yesterday and many high street stores will slash prices today

Shoppers are seen on Boxing Day 2018 outside another Oxford Street store. Boxing Day sales started online yesterday and many high street stores will slash prices today

Two companies that measure shopper numbers said there was a sharp fall compared with the last Saturday before Christmas in 2018.

Springboard said: ‘Super Saturday did not materialise, with an annual decline in footfall on that one day of 7.6 per cent.’ 

A survey by Ipsos Retail Performance put the fall at 6.2 per cent. Shopping online is predicted to continue on Christmas Day with more than £1billion splashed out by an estimated 11million buyers, according to a Centre for Retail Research study for VoucherCodes. 

That would be up by around 20 per cent on 2018. Debenhams said although it has already launched its Boxing Day deals online, they will not go live in stores until December 26. Oak Furnitureland has followed the same approach.

Meanwhile people living in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle, who are signed up to Amazon Prime Now, can place orders until 9.15pm today to get delivery by midnight. 

Argos is offering same-day deliveries for orders until 1pm today.

Two companies that measure shopper numbers said there was a sharp fall compared with the last Saturday before Christmas in 2018. Shoppers are pictured on Oxford Street last year

Two companies that measure shopper numbers said there was a sharp fall compared with the last Saturday before Christmas in 2018. Shoppers are pictured on Oxford Street last year

Shopping online is predicted to continue on Christmas Day with more than £1billion splashed out by an estimated 11million buyers, according to a Centre for Retail Research study for VoucherCodes

Shopping online is predicted to continue on Christmas Day with more than £1billion splashed out by an estimated 11million buyers, according to a Centre for Retail Research study for VoucherCodes

Shoppers run into the store as the doors open in Selfridges department store during the Boxing Day sale in central London on December 26, 2018

Shoppers run into the store as the doors open in Selfridges department store during the Boxing Day sale in central London on December 26, 2018