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Department stores set to clean up on Panic Saturday

New data has revealed that department stores are expected to double their takings this weekend, with stores in the North of England set to benefit most from last-minute Christmas shopping on ‘Panic Saturday’.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Department stores set to clean up on Panic Saturday

According to payment processing company Worldpay, the number of card payments processed by department stores in some parts of the UK just before Christmas surged by as much as 224% during the same period last year – and the company expects there to be an even bigger rise this year.

Liverpool and Newcastle topped the list last year, with 224% and 197% increases respectively. Manchester saw trading jump by 189%. Weekly transaction volumes in London’s department stores were 136% higher than in September-October, while in Bristol trading rose by 89%.

Worldpay said its research suggests that consumers will spend an average of £364.01 on Christmas presents for friends and family across the UK. Shoppers in the North spend an average of £378.43 on gifts, while shoppers in the South spend £351.46.

Dave Hobday, managing director, Worldpay UK, said: “Department stores are magnets for shoppers who find themselves in the last-chance saloon in the final few days before Christmas.

“Retailers of all sizes are working harder than ever to make shopping more merry than manic for customers this Christmas. This year in particular we’re seeing more retailers using tablets and mobile devices, which allow staff to take payments anywhere in-store, and help reduce busy shopping queues. This holiday season, it’s about making the shopping experience as easy and enjoyable as scoffing a mince pie.”

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