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Christmas etail sales set for 16% lift on last year

Online sales at Christmas are expected to be 16% higher than last year as shoppers hunt for bargains.

According to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, British shoppers spent £4.8bn online in September, a year-on-year growth of 24%.

Sales of clothing, footwear and accessories online were up 28% from September last year.

Gift sales lifted by 32% in September, suggesting that consumers are looking to spread the cost of Christmas.

Tina Spooner, director of information at IMRG, said: “Despite a continuing decline in consumer confidence, the online retail market is growing ahead of our expectations, with a double-digit rise in yearly sales recorded in each quarter of 2010.

“Concerns over the impending Government spending cuts, VAT increase and job security, together with falling average households’ disposable income, are all contributing to driving this positive etail performance as consumers turn to online retailers to secure the best deals.

“During the fourth quarter we estimate that the UK e-retail market will reach £17.4 billion, with sales during December alone reaching around £6.4 billion as shoppers flock online during the festive season.”

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