Retailers are bracing themselves for ‘panic Saturday’ as 13 million shoppers are expected to flock to high streets and shopping centres to stock up on last minute Christmas items this weekend.

This weekend’s spend is expected to eclipse last weekend’s, when £1.75bn rung through the tills, according to the Centre for Retail Research.

The expected footfall compares with 10.5 million shoppers last Saturday, and 11 million shoppers on the corresponding Saturday last year.

Professor Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research, said he expected this weekend’s shoppers to spend “dramatically more than last weekend”.

Bamfield said he anticipated that there will be “more people shopping than on any other day in history” on Saturday, due to the timing of Christmas and the fact people are leaving it late to shop this year.

“Christmas has been very late and slow this year,” he said.

West End retailers enjoyed a 17.7% surge in footfall last Saturday with sales over the weekend totalling more than £200m, according to the New West End Company.