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Retailer's prepare for biggest online shopping day

Retailers are bracing themselves for the UK's biggest Christmas shopping day online today, with shoppers expected to spend £320 million.

Online spending is expected to rise 15% on last year to £13.16 billion in the run up to Christmas as hard-up shoppers search for bargains on the internet.

However, IMRG's prediction that last Monday would be the UK's largest ever online shopping day failed to materialize, as the anticipated VAT-driven spike failed to boost trade, leaving sales values and traffic volumes flat.

IMRG chief executive James Roper said: "It was widely assumed that [the] fall in VAT, from 17.5% to 15%, would create a considerable shopping surge, due pent up demand caused by shoppers waiting for the lower rate. But it just didn't happen. Many of the smart e-retailers had already passed on the lower rate as soon as it was announced."

Peak shopping time today will be between 1pm and 2pm when shoppers are expected to spend £28m. This is double the amount spent by shoppers at last year's peak Christmas shopping hour, at midday on Monday December 11.

Roper added: "Retailers and suppliers will be under extreme pressure to price competitively this year, so there will be a lot of volatility out there - and fantastic bargains - that the internet uniquely enables canny shoppers to find and grab before anyone else gets the chance."

John Lewis reported a record week of online sales last week.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Spent the last hour doing my online Christmas shopping. It's the only way to spend and avoid impulse purchases this year. Plus there are some good bargains out there though I'd like to have some more free delivery.

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