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Panic Saturday And Manic Monday Hits The UK

uk christmas shoppingRetail markets in the United Kingdom have not been doing very well as companies are constantly forced to slash prices to compete with online retailers and stay relevant in the market place. Black Friday sales did not reach their expected targets and UK retailers have been offering massive discounts during the Christmas season in an effort to make up for their losses.

The Centre for Retail Research estimated that around 13 million shoppers in the UK took to the streets on Panic Saturday to go after Christmas discounts and buy gifts for family and friends.

The trend is expected to continue on Manic Monday as retailers continue to offer huge discounts that cover just about everything on offer.

Panic Saturday queues could be seen all over the U.K as thousands of customers thronged the streets of London, Aberdeen and Dublin sending retailers in a tizzy as they had to control long queues and employees had to deal with frustrated customers throughout Panic Saturday. They now have to prepare for it all over again as Manic Monday could turn out to be just the same, even though it’s a working day in the UK.

A number of brands such as Argos, Sainsbury’s, H&M, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and River Island were offering the biggest discounts of the year. Although these retailers were expecting huge sales on Panic Saturday, they did not anticipate the sheer volumes that would turn out. The number of online customers are also expected to skyrocket on Manic Monday as brands expect around 151 million online visitors to make purchases and estimate both online and offline sales to generate approximately £676.5 million on Manic Monday.

In a statement, Mark Barnett, president of MasterCard UK & Ireland said

The shift to shopping online is undeniable, but high streets and shopping malls still dominate with four out of five pounds spent offline. Last year, consumers left their shopping late, and we are expecting many to do the same this year, with the four days from Saturday, December 19, forecast to be the biggest shopping days of the year

Financial consulting firm Deloitte has been monitoring the UK retail industry and confirmed that average discounts across all segments in the UK averaged around 44.9% and confirmed that except for 2008, this was the biggest pre-Christmas discount that the company had witnessed during the last 10 years.