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Web to Account for 32 Per Cent of Festive Shopping

17 December 2018 - 08:17 by Mike Price

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Consumers in the UK will be taking advantage of sites offering shopping online to complete almost a third of all their Christmas spending this year, according to a new study from the Centre for Retail Research.

This represents a small but significant increase from the amount of activity recorded during the same period last year, with a hefty £13.6 billion in purchasing set to be channelled through smartphones.

Even with all of this web-based action, experts expect that the high street will be very busy in the final days before December 25th. On the 22nd an anticipated 10 million people will head to bricks-and-mortar stores across the country, for example.

In terms of the average amount spent per household, almost £500 will go towards presents, £240 for consumables and a paltry £30 on the purchase of decorative items which bring the season to life.

Groceries will be a big priority for many last-minute shoppers, with Brits projected to part with £7 billion collectively as they get in all the food and beverages they need.

The fact that all of this grocery spending will occur within a tight two-week window prior to Christmas shows just how much of a rush there is at the end of the year.

Analysts agree that the amount of spending seen so far this festive season has been relatively muted, yet there are high hopes for a rapid rise in last-minute sales, especially as Christmas Eve takes place on a Monday and many e-commerce sites will still be offering same-day delivery up until around 12pm on the 24th.

The factors which impact retail spending are multifaceted and complex, but the clear winner this year is the web, with sales growth forging a path towards eventual market dominance.