Belfast Telegraph

Shopping frenzy set for Manic Monday

By Sara Neill

We've just endured Black Friday and Cyber Monday - but the busiest shopping day of the year could still be today.

UK shoppers are expected to shell out £676.5m on Manic Monday and traders here are preparing for hordes more shoppers.

Snow Glow Elsa doll from Disney's Frozen film is flying off the Toys R Us shelves in CastleCourt - but their biggest day is yet to come.

"Black Friday has been the busiest shopping day for us so far but we expect Christmas Eve will be bonkers," said a spokesman.

The average person will buy 60 gifts with an average total spend of £726.14, according to a Censuswide poll. And UK shoppers are expected to spend £470,000 a minute online today, according to data firm Experian and online retailing trade association IMRG.

But local stores want to provide an experience that cannot be matched on a website.

Glyn Roberts, from the NI Independent Retail Traders Association, said: "There's nothing fun about pushing a trolley around a big store, but there is fun in spending time in a city that's buzzing."

Braving the high street yesterday, Joanne and Damien Brennan from Newry said they had turned their Christmas shopping into a weekend getaway.

"Belfast has changed since we used to live here and we explored the Cathedral Quarter on Saturday night," said Damien.

Joseph Rea Jewellers is well used to last-minute Christmas Eve shoppers. Spokesman Tony McGrattan said: "People do always leave it late and panic. We always get fellas in getting gifts for their wives or girlfriends."

But retailers warn that by leaving it to Christmas Eve you run the risk of not getting the right gift.

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