The market information specialist TNS Worldpanel has forecast that a record GBP14.2bn (US$27.9bn) will be spent on household goods over the Christmas period in the UK, with a massive GBP3.7bn being spent in Christmas week alone.

With Christmas day falling on a Monday this year, shoppers have a full seven days in Christmas week to prepare for the festivities, TNS pointed out.

"Every year, the supermarkets have to strike a fine balance between keeping the shelves stocked and not having too much left over that they will have to dispose of," said Edward Garner, research director at TNS. "Retailers must be ready for the big hit we are expecting them to take on Thursday and Friday to ensure there is still enough stock for those shoppers waiting until the end of the working week and heading out on Saturday to get their goods in."