More than 23 million people finished their shopping on Christmas Eve in 2014, despite a growing consumer trend towards getting it done earlier.
Around 23.6 million people left at least some of their festive shopping until the last minute, according to Sainsbury’s Bank Credit Cards.
The firm interviewed people to look into their spending habits and estimated that around £832 million would be spent on Christmas Eve.
That means nearly half of the adult population of the UK were planning to shop in the hours immediately before Christmas Day. Whether it was searching for a last minute treat or merely picking up the Christmas Turkey, retailers managed a glorious level of trade the day before Christmas.
A last minute rush
It represents a significant increase from Christmas Eve in 2013 when around 17.5 million people left things until the last minute.
For many people, shopping on Christmas Eve is likely to involve picking up the last few items rather than being a mad dash to find everything.
Some 22% of all shopping in Christmas week in 2013 was done on Christmas Eve while that figure decreased to 11% this year.
People have also given plenty of thought to how they will fund their Christmas purchases, with 45% of people revealing they had saved up money during the year especially for it.
More than one fifth of people revealed they would use a credit card that they would pay off in full, or switch to a 0% balance transfer card.
Gifting with prepaid cards
Others said they were using prepaid gift cards to give as presents or had loaded up a prepaid card during the year to be used for festive spending.
This is a great way to budget as only funds on the card can be spent and they can used in a similar way to a credit or debit card – online, in stores and at ATMs.
There a wide range of these options to choose from too, so shoppers can hunt around for the best deals in the same way that they would with other financial products.
While fewer people are leaving their shopping to the last minute, there are still a significant amount of shoppers who are leaving it late.
It seems many shoppers love a last minute bargain or suddenly decide that they wish to buy more gifts before the big day.