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Panic Saturday: Retailers prepare for busiest day of Christmas shopping

Shoppers will hit the streets today (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Shoppers will hit the streets today (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

High street shops are set to slash prices in an attempt to coax consumers down the aisles.

Retailers including River Island, H&M, Sports Direct, Argos and Sainsbury’s are already offering huge seasonal discounts – with many more sales due to kick off early instead of after Christmas.

Discounts are expected to average 45% on what some see as the most stressful shopping day of the year, according to Deloitte.

Around 12.6 million Britons are expected to hit the sales in search of cut-price buys, according to the Centre for Retail Research.

A mild autumn and unexpectedly low Black Friday sales have left businesses desperate to shift a build-up of stock, industry experts said.

And thanks to Christmas falling on a Friday this year, “Panic Saturday” is expected to kick off a £6 billion six-day spending spree – 23% more than the same period last year when Christmas Day fell on the Thursday.

Jason Gordon, consumer business partner at Deloitte, said: “Compared to 2014, there is already a noticeable increase in both the volume and value of discounts in the run-up to Christmas this year.

“Whilst this is good news for consumers looking to grab a bargain, it is a clear sign that retailers are being faced with what is now an annual uphill battle.”