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Stats show impact of poor weather on pre-Christmas shopping

21 December 2010 - 09:52 by Simon Crisp

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After the strong performance of e-commerce firms in the weeks before Christmas, both the high street store and retailers offering safe shopping online have felt the impact of snowy weather, as sales have fallen off as further disruption caused problems in the last weekend before the big day.

The delivery of groceries from major retailers including Tesco has been significantly hindered by the poor weather, with many who had expected to receive the components for their Christmas lunch this weekend disappointed by cancellations and delays.

Analysis by research firm Synovate, has discovered that on the final weekend of shopping before Christmas Day, there were almost 25 per cent less people on the high street than there were during the same period in 2009.

Spokesperson Tim Denison, explained that this has been a worst case scenario for many retailers both online and off, with around half a billion pounds in sales missed as a result of the poor weather this weekend alone.

People who had hoped that safe shopping online would ensure that their goods would be delivered before Christmas have harnessed the power of social networking, using services like Twitter and Facebook to vent their frustration over cancelled orders and missing parcels.

One user explained that Tesco had notified him of the cancellation of his online grocery order via text message, advising him to wait until the weather had improved in his area and then re-order using their website.

Grocery delivery service Ocado, said that it had been forced to cancel 20 per cent of its orders over the weekend, while Sainsbury's stopped deliveries in Kent and Cornwall as snow continued to hamper the progress of drivers.

Despite the negativity there are many positive stories with a good number of people still getting their presents and groceries delivered on time. Many drivers have gone beyond the call of duty, struggling with goods by foot to get them to their destination.