Retailers are offering discounts of up to 90% to tempt shoppers on Christmas Eve as more than a third of adults have left their gift buying to the last minute, according to research.

According to the Sunday Times, bargains are starting to emerge after a battle of wills as shoppers held out for discounts and shops not budging as they had little surplus stock.

The research suggests substantial discounts are now available from most big name retailers. Debenhams had up to 78% off selected dresses in store and online on Saturday, while H&M had reductions of up to 70% on its website. John Lewis, House of Fraser and Marks & Spencer were offering 30-50% off selected lines. Sports retailer Sports Direct had some discounts up to 90%.

Consumers are expected to spend almost £55m an hour on Christmas Eve - £1.3bn in total – an increase of about 30% on Christmas Eve 2011, according to Sainsbury’s bank data.

John Lewis is to start its online Boxing Day clearance at 5pm on Christmas Eve and Amazon’s Boxing Day Sale will start at 9am on Christmas Day. Marks & Spencer is to start its online Sale today at 12pm and Currys and PC World will also start its Sale this evening.