“ Panic Saturday ” – the final Saturday of the year before Christmas – takes place after what many people refer to as “Mad Friday”, when the desire to see out another year over a few drinks takes place after many people’s last day at work. Hangovers are met by many with the need to finally get to the shops and get presents for loved ones; something that usually takes a back seat in a usually hectic working month for British employees.
Following the many so-called “holidays” that have taken hold in recent years – Black Friday and Cyber Monday in particular – it seems like the power of retail has once again claimed another day of the week for its annual calendar. Like its counterparts, it focuses on the two important factors that drive people to use their wallets more than usual: discounts and a frantic attitude.
Accepted by most as the busiest day in the Christmas shopping calendar, Panic Saturday has been further qualified by the Centre for Retail Research, which estimates that the bargain-hunting credentials of the average Brit will see well over 12 million people looking for seasonal discounts. It claims that the poor sales performances during Black Friday have forced many businesses into making huge discounts so they can shift stock that will otherwise sit in warehouses well past the Christmas break.
Those who have made clear cuts to prices include H&M, Sports Direct, Sainsbury’s and Argos. Yet the value of these savings may surprise even the most ardent discount-seeker – accountancy firm Deloitte believes that costs have been slashed by an average of 45% according to accountancy firm Deloitte.
Consumer business partner at the firm Jason Gordon 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.”
Deloitte further predicted that given Christmas takes place on a Friday in 2015, Panic Saturday will start a £6 billion spending spree – averaging £1 billion a day – before the big day itself, eclipsing sales in 2014 over the same period by 23%.