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Last-minute Christmas shoppers flood centres including Bluewater and High Streets on busiest day of year

23 December 2013
by KentOnline reporter

Shoppers are out in force at Kent stores today on what is expected to be the busiest shopping day of the year.

Britons are predicted to spend as much as £3.5billion in the last-minute rush for Christmas gifts.

For the first time, some stores at Bluewater in Greenhithe are staying open until midnight to cope with demand.

Shoppers are out in force at centres including Bluewater

Bargain hunters are expected at shopping centres including Bluewater

By the end of today, the shopping centre expects to have welcomed a record 500,000 people since Friday and another 100,000 anticipated on Christmas Eve.

It experienced its busiest day of the year so far on Saturday, with footfall of almost 160,000 - driven by early pay days and the school holidays beginning.

Bluewater said the average spend per group at Christmas is expected to exceed £200, with the average visit lasting three hours.

General manager Robert Goodman said: "We recorded our busiest day of the year for footfall, and many retailers have reported anecdotally strong sales as well.

"The flash sales helped to attract additional visitors, but the key drivers were pay day on Friday and the beginning of the holidays.

Bluewater is expecting record numbers of last-minute Christmas shoppers

Bluewater is expecting record numbers of last-minute Christmas shoppers

He added: "We expect this weekend's success to continue into Mega Monday, when we are open until midnight for the first time, and through to Christmas Eve.

"Whilst many consumers have left it late this year, they are more than making up for it now."

Have you finished your Christmas shopping or are you hitting the stores today? Leave a comment below.

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