Shoppers are expected to spend more than £1.3bn this Christmas Eve – about £55m every hour – as millions leave their shopping to the last minute this year.

Around 17.2 million people are calculated to be out on the high streets on Monday, with 36% of adults finishing off their Christmas shopping, according to research from Sainsbury’s Bank Credit Cards.

Those people who have set Christmas present budgets are expected to account for the £1.3bn total, up from £1bn last year. But an additional
2.3 million people don’t know how much they will spend, meaning the total Christmas Eve spend could be much higher. Research found men are almost three times more likely not to budget for Christmas than women.

The Christmas Eve forecast spend is in addition to the £9.85bn expected to be spent in the week before Christmas this year, up 4.8% on last year.

Head of Sainsbury’s Credit Cards Stuart McKeggie, said: “Our research indicates that Christmas Eve shopping continues to be as popular as ever, with millions of people still looking to pick up the perfect gifts right up until the last minute. Our research also suggests that more money will be spent on Christmas Eve in comparison to last year.”

Despite the spending increases year on year, shoppers are trying to reduce their Christmas spend, with 39% of people using vouchers to buy food and gifts and more than a quarter of people, 26%, collecting points on all of their Christmas shopping. Shoppers are also planning to purchase gifts and food and drink with their points.

Meanwhile, 36% of last-minute shopping in the week before Christmas is expected to be bought on credit cards, up from 31% last year.

To take advantage of the late surge in Christmas shoppers, all Sainsbury’s supermarkets will open an hour earlier than usual this Sunday for customers to browse, while 35 stores will open at midnight on Christmas Eve and trade until 6pm.