Sainsbury’s anticipates a “record day of trading” today, generating sales of more than £160m.

Sainsbury’s expects 5.2 million shoppers to pass through its doors today and will deliver the equivalent of an online order per second.

The day is also likely to be many other retailers’ busiest too and total spend on food and drink over the week was forecast by Kantar Worldpanel to be a record £4.2bn.

The spending trend reflects the fall of Christmas Day on Monday this year, meaning consumers will stock up on staples as well as festive fare for what will be for many a four-day break.

Over the course of today, dubbed ‘festive Friday’ by Sainsbury’s, the grocer expects to sell 166 tonnes of mince pies, 22.6 million Brussels sprouts, 121,000 turkeys, 216,000 pigs in blankets and 180,000 Christmas puddings.

Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe said: “We know that our customers like to treat themselves and their loved ones at Christmas.

“We know it’s going to be a bumper shopping weekend. Over 1,800 colleagues from our central offices will be in stores over the next couple of days helping everyone stock up ahead of the big day.”

Sainsbury’s Argos general merchandise business also anticipates last-minute shopping. Users of its Fast Track delivery service can order as late as 1pm on Christmas Eve for delivery by 6pm that day.