Christmas rush at Peterborough’s Serpentine Green as shoppers seek late bargains

The final Sunday before Christmas Day is, as expected, proving very busy in Peterborough with shoppers making a late push to buy presents.

Sunday, 22nd December 2019, 4:05 pm

Drone footage shows a number of drivers queuing to get in and out of Serpentine Green in Hampton after trying to bag a late bargain at the shopping centre less than 72 hours before the big day.

Retailers on high streets across the country have been dropping prices this weekend in an effort to bolster sales in a much-needed end of year boost.

Financial firm PwC said it predicts people are planning to shop later and spend less this Christmas.

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Drone footage showing cars queuing to get in and out of Serpentine Green. Photo and video: Terry Harris

It is partly because there is one less shopping weekend between Black Friday and 25 December this year, which means stores are under more pressure to increase discounts and promotions this weekend as they look to draw in more cautious consumers and clear seasonal stock.

Lisa Hooker, PwC’s consumer markets leader, said: “We expect to see significantly higher promotional levels this weekend and a bumper Boxing Day sale compared to previous years, with deep discounts for patient consumers.”

The predictions come as retailers end another difficult year after shoppers held off on spending until Black Friday and then exercised caution amid the uncertainty of Brexit and the General Election.

But confidence appears to be increasing post-election, with GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index suggesting a significant uptick in optimism towards the general economy, personal finances and spending plans.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at analysts Springboard, said: “Consumers clearly took advantage of early discounts to purchase Christmas presents and are now waiting for discounts to deepen once again in the days immediately before Christmas as retailers do their best to shift unsold stock.”