THERE WERE mixed reports from Courier Country retailers after the final shopping weekend before Christmas.
The British Retail Consortium predicted that £378 million was spent in shops yesterday alone.
On local high streets there was some evidence the deluge had taken its toll, but many shop owners remained upbeat.
David Carson, manager of the Overgate shopping centre in Dundee, said it had been an “extremely busy” weekend.
He said city retailers were gearing up for more of the same today, as late bargain hunters use every last available minute.
In Perth hopes are high that panic buyers will boost the coffers after the weekend’s heavy downpours appeared to dampen the ambitions of present purchasers.
Staff at the city’s Waterstones bookshop reported that trade had picked-up, but nonetheless they had “not been as busy as expected”.
The picture was different at food retailers across the city, however.
There were also queues at Pets at Home, where owners were keen to ensure their feathered and furry friends also enjoy a festive feast.
Fife’s shopping centres reported a busy, but not overwhelming, turnout.
A spokesman at the Mercat centre in Kirkcaldy described yesterday as “pretty booming but not what we were expecting”.
Staff at the Kingsgate Centre in Dunfermline reported a similar picture. They said it had not been the busiest of weekends.
“It’s not been bad,” said a spokeswoman.
“It was really busy on Friday but not so busy on Saturday and Sunday.”
The streets of Angus were also quieter than many had hoped, in part as a resultof the torrential rain which battered the region.
However, in Brechin, there was praise for organisations who have worked to ensure shoppers stay local this festive season.
Irene Turriff, owner of Les Turriff’s Fruit & Veg, had warm words for the Brechin Retail Group.
“They have been getting people in to the town that may not have been here before, so it has been very good.”
Retail experts predict that those leaving their shopping to the final few hours will exit the shops with a huge hole in their pocket.
The average “panic buyer” is expected to spend about £190 on last-minute gifts.