More than 330,000 shoppers were expected to hit the Midlands' most popular shopping centre, the Bullring, this weekend with customers counting down the last shopping days to Christmas.

Last year, shoppers effectively had an extra weekend to buy ahead of December 25, but this year there is no such luxury of time.

Instead, with only one more full weekend to go after this one, the centre's general manager Tim Walley said he was expecting one of the busiest weekends of the year at the store, which attracted more than 40 million shoppers throughout 2012.

He said: "We're anticipating a busy penultimate weekend before Christmas with in excess of 210,000 customers expected to visit the centre today.

"With just over a week to go until the big day we're expecting a further 120,000 customers to visit Bullring on Sunday making this one of our busiest weekends of the year."

Shoppers in Birmingham's Bullring centre
Shoppers in Birmingham's Bullring centre

Regarding consumer demand, Mr Walley said shoppers were making a bee-line for top-selling toys ; the Furby Boom and Teksta Puppy in stock at The Entertainer store.

Strong visitor numbers are also helping to drive sales at John Lewis' flagship store at the Touchwood shopping centre in Solihull where the emerging gift trends appear to be in the homeware, fashion and beauty departments.

John Lewis Solihull said sales of Christmas crackers, decorations, lights, stockings and cards are all up by 11 per cent at the store, year on year, as customers ensure they are well stocked for a festive Christmas.

Guest bedrooms may be getting some attention with sales of bed linen up 15 per cent.

Meanwhile, in audio it is a similar picture with sales up 25 per cent, with gifts such as the John Lewis own-brand coloured DAB radios proving popular.

Customers are also apparently thinking about how to best record their special Christmas moments, with sales of cameras and accessories up 13 per cent.

Sales of beauty products are also up 8 per cent, while handbags are proving their enduring popularity with sales volumes up 12 per cent.

Ben Service, the store's operations manager, said: "Christmas is the time of year when everyone wants fast service, great value and brilliant gifts.

"We pride ourselves on offering all of that, and with extended trading hours and a real passion for doing the right thing for our customers, we believe John Lewis has everything our customers need to give their loved ones a Christmas they'll never forget."

Read more: Bullring's Christmas opening times

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