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Last-minute shoppers 'to spend $3.3bn'

AAP logoAAP 22/12/2016

Australians are expected to spend around $3.3 billion in the two days before Christmas as shoppers take advantage of extended retail hours.

The figure is part of $8 billion predicted by the Retail Council to be spent by shoppers in the seven days to December 25.

About $1.2 billion was tipped to be spent on food and drink for Christmas festivities in the days leading up to the big day, according to NAB.

NAB has forecast its customers will spend about $20 million more this year on food and drink compared with last year.

"Interestingly, unlike in previous years, we've seen customers shopping over longer periods of the day - with transaction volumes remaining very high up until 6pm," NAB executive general manager of consumer lending Angus Gilfillan said in a statement on Friday.

"This is likely due to longer trading hours."

Some businesses across the country are opening their doors for a marathon 36 hours to accommodate the last-minute rush.

The Sydney Fish Market is one, and management expects a whopping 700 tonnes of fresh seafood to be sold between 5am on Thursday and 5pm on Friday.

"That's equivalent to the weight of 350,000 Christmas trees," Sydney Fish Market General Manager Bryan Skepper said in a statement.

About 200 tonnes of prawns and 900 000 oysters are expected to be bought over the 36 hour-period as Sydneysiders stock up ahead of Christmas Day celebrations.

Meanwhile, research commissioned by David Jones indicated one in ten Australians leave Christmas shopping until December 24.

Of the more than 1100 adults surveyed by Lonergan Research, 30 per cent said they love Christmas shopping, while 39 per cent said it made them stressed.

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