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Last-minute festive rush expected to boost retailers

Christmas shopping

The CBI said that 71% of retailers reported higher sales in the two weeks to December 11 than in the same period last year, while just 9% said they were down. The balance of plus-61% was the highest since January 1988. The total festive spend, including food, gifts and socialising since Black Friday in November, is estimated to be around £72.66bn. Last-minute panic-buying in the run up to Christmas Day is predicted to be worth £4.74bn in store sales alone, a 21% increase on last year. More than £1.2bn was spent on Saturday, as 13m people descended on high streets. Footfall at stores is expected to be up by 5% on Tuesday, compared with previous years where Christmas Day has fallen on a Thursday. Experian and IMRG forecast that a record £636m will be spent online on Christmas Day this year, a 36% increase on 2013. They forecast Boxing Day spending of £748m online, compared with £810m spent on Black Friday.

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