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Last-minute Christmas shopping: Exact time to avoid the shops

A crowd of people at a busy shopping centre during the Christmas shopping period.
Aussies planning to do some last-minute Christmas shopping should avoid the shops at this specific time. (Source: Getty)

Christmas has a habit of sneaking up on us, and this year is no different. So, when is the best time to avoid the crowds if you’ve left your shopping too late?

New NAB data revealed 12:00pm to 1:00pm on Friday, December 23 would be the exact hour when festive shopping spiked.

NAB credit and debit card transaction data suggested Aussies could spend more than $400 million in the 60-minute lunchtime window alone if last year’s trends continued, doubling the average hourly spending of $200 million over the rest of the day.

Australian shoppers are expected to spend $4.8 billion in total this Friday, up 15 per cent on the $4.2 billion spent on December 23, 2021.

Analysis of more than 30 million transactions in the five days leading up to Christmas also revealed Point Cook in Victoria and Mosman in NSW as the suburbs where Australia’s top shoppers lived.

After Point Cook, Victoria’s top shoppers lived in Melbourne, Brighton, Berwick and Werribee.

In NSW, following Mosman, the state’s top shoppers lived in Dubbo, Port Macquarie, Orange and Sydney.

NAB executive, everyday banking experience Kylie Young said transaction data showed Aussies loved a deadline.

“While many Aussies are excited about celebrating Christmas with their loved ones, we know it can also be a little stressful getting their shopping done in the lead-up to the big day,” Young said.

“With Christmas this year falling on a Sunday, plenty of us will be leaving our shopping until Friday and embracing the last-minute rush, especially at lunchtime.

“It can be easy to get swept up in the excitement and overspend, or buy more than you need, which is why it’s important to set a budget and have a plan - both of what to buy and how you’ll pay.”

Young said a growing number of Australians would be using online payments for their shopping.

“We’re predicting more than 51 million log-ons to the NAB app – or almost 9,000 a minute – in the days leading up to Christmas,” she said.

“We anticipate a significant number of people will check their banking app or internet banking from mobile phones while they’re shopping on-the-go.”

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