America has turned Black Friday (and wringing its hands about Black Friday) into a national sport. But it seems the U.K. has one-upped us, with the invention of "Panic Saturday." Now that's my kind of retail phenomenon. EVERYBODY FREAK OUT AND START STOCKPILING FROZEN DOLLS, THIS IS NOT A DRILL, SIREN JINGLE ALL THE WAY SIREN.
The Guardian (h/t Quartz) reports that on Saturday, folks in the U.K. were expected to spend a whopping £1.2 billion on last-minute Christmas gifts. In other words, it's the day everybody says "oh SHIT," girds their loins, and runs out to brick-and-mortar stores to purchase whatever they forgot to order online before the free shipping deadlines passed. Apparently, analysts and researchers in the U.K. have dubbed this phenomenon "Panic Saturday."
A term invented to attract attention to retail projections and give vacation-minded reporters something to cover in the dishwater-dull days before Christmas? Sure! But anybody who's ever made the mistake of braving a mall this time of year knows it's real, it's not a new phenomenon and it's not limited to the U.K., either. It's easily twice as legit as "Cyber Monday."
But please note that Saturday was not peak frenzy—Visa Europe predicts that'll come Tuesday, with spending topping £1.3 billion. Until then, we remain besieged by Christmas. Stay strong.
Photo via Getty.