Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Shops Braced for Last-Minute Rush

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Shops Braced for Last-Minute Rush

Article excerpt

Byline: By Megan Bolam

Cash-strapped shoppers are expected to raid North-East high streets this weekend hunting for last-minute Christmas bargains.

Consumer experts claim more shoppers than ever are postponing their search for the perfect gift until just days before Christmas in the hope retailers will slash their prices.

Major retailers in Newcastle last night agreed, saying the Christmas rush is being pushed back further every year as consumers wise-up to the trend of pre-Christmas sales.

Cari Jones, 20, a student from Newcastle, is one shopper who has learned to read retailers' behaviour.

Cari was yesterday trawling Northumberland Street for gifts before travelling to Wales to spend Christmas with her family.

But she said holding off on her search may have saved her from hitting the overdraft this year.

She added: "I just started today but that is nothing new for me as I always leave Christmas shopping until the last minute because you can get it all in at once and you know what people want.

"They also start the sales at shoe shops, clothes shops and there are also lots of offers on perfumes and cards.

"I had not even written one Christmas card before today and now they are all on sale so I got them much cheaper."

Mother-of-two Amanda Garvey was also counting her pennies last night after taking her sons Christopher, 17, and James, 12, on a desperate spending spree.

Amanda, 39, of Rowlands Gill, said: "I only started shopping today because it just crept up on me this year.

"So I brought the boys along with me and anything they point out I have been buying so I can get it all done."

But student Eve Black, of Gosforth, Newcastle, was prepared to wait even longer to finish her shopping in the hope of picking up more red-ticket offers. She said: "I am half-way through my shopping but I don't have as much money this year so I will wait to see if I can get some bargains next week."

Richard Perks, managing director of retail research at consumer intelligence agency Mintel, said shopping patterns have changed over the years which is frustrating some retailers. …

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