Shopping mall braced to take 'up to £1m per hour'

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The Independent Online

The Christmas countdown has begun, with just nine shopping days to go until the big day.

Brent Cross Shopping Centre in north west London predicts that its shoppers will be spending an average of £350,000 per hour, increasing to £1 million at its peak.

Despite reports of ‘doom and gloom’ the Centre expects to see three quarters of a million people through its doors between now and close at 6pm on Christmas Eve.

Norman Black, from Brent Cross Shopping Centre, comments; “It’s fair to say that 2008 has been tough for retailers and a decline has certainly been evident compared with previous years. However, we are confident that shoppers will still be spending in the run up to Christmas, partly encouraged by retailer discounts."

“On average, shoppers can expect to receive savings up to 25% on their purchases this year in comparison to 2007; on a typical shopping basket worth £200, they can expect to save around £50."

“Every year, retailers say that 'Christmas is getting later' and this is particularly relevant for 2008 as shoppers are holding out for last minute bargains. Additionally, Christmas is later this year - we have two extra shopping days with Christmas Day falling on a Thursday, instead of Tuesday, so we would typically expect people to leave their shopping even later this year than in 2007.”