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November 24, 2005

UK online Xmas shopping set to boom

Online retailers can look forward to a merry Christmas, with yet another piece of Yuletide research predicting a record breaking season for UK Internet shopping.

By CBR Staff Writer

The Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) says that British e-commerce spending was up 40 per cent year-on-year in October. On the basis of that, it predicts that 24 million UK citizens will spend a total of GBP5 billion online this Christmas.

The trade association estimates that 24 million people spent GBP1,786 million online in October, an average of GBP74 each. The latest online shopping sales figures show that online shopping is currently growing 130 times faster than high street sales, reported the IMRG.

In October, reports IMRG, clothing sales grew 27 per cent on the year, electricals 28 per cent and beer, wine and spirits sales grew by 50 per cent.

IMRG’s analysis was backed by Royal Mail. Richard Roche, Head of Multi-channel Retail at Royal Mail, said: Online retail continues to grow at a phenomenal rate and the predicted GBP5 billion spend represents a 40 per cent increase on the GBP3.5 billion spent online in the same period in 2004.

We predict we will deliver 70 million packages ordered online in the run-up to Christmas. We have been working with retailers in the run up to the festive period to ensure we provide a high level of service to their customers and that they have an enjoyable online shopping experience.

Not only are more people shopping online in 2005 but the average online spend is also increasing – GBP1,025 a year per person compared to GBP936 in 2004. The research also reveals that 59 per cent of people shop online on a weekday evening proving the Internet is a convenient alternative to the high street.

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