LAST-MINUTE Christmas shoppers are expected to enjoy widespread discounting this weekend as retailers use Super Saturday to provide a much-needed end-of-year boost.
But the big question is: which shops will blink first.
Until a few years ago there was a gentlemen's agreement that the big sales always started on Boxing Day (or even December 27).
But last year Debenhams, M&S, Top Shop and Next all brought their sales forward to before Christmas Day.
Lidl has already unveiled some of its discounted goods with a range of branded clothes for kids, pyjamas and thermal leggings.
And Debenhams has a half price sale preview event running all weekend on a wide range of goods.
Among the goodies on offer is a Magimix coffe maker down from £180 to just £75, a half price BaByliss gift set, a bunny hottie with 40 per cent off and a Jasper Conran leather organiser at half price.
PwC has predicted that people are planning to shop later and spend less this Christmas, in part because there is one less shopping weekend between Black Friday and December 25 this year.
This is likely to mean stores are under more pressure to increase promotions this weekend as they look to draw in more cautious consumers and clear seasonal stock.
Lisa Hooker, PwC's consumer markets leader, said: "We expect to see significantly higher promotional levels this weekend and a bumper Boxing Day sale compared to previous years, with deep discounts for patient consumers."
The predictions come as retailers end another difficult year after shoppers held off on spending until Black Friday and then exercised caution amid the uncertainty of Brexit and the General Election.
But confidence appears to be increasing post-election, with GfK's long-running Consumer Confidence Index suggesting a significant uptick in optimism towards the general economy, personal finances and spending plans.
Ms Hooker said: "Looking ahead to December, the election and other distractions heralded a slower start to the month, so all eyes will be on this weekend's Super Saturday when we expect a last minute rush to the shops, and potentially some big bargains for patient consumers."
Analysts Springboard has predicted footfall will peak on Saturday at 10% higher than last Saturday and 3% higher than the same Saturday last year.