Fifth of spending online as the net really starts to click with customers

Nearly one in every five pounds spent on shopping in the UK is done online – the highest level recorded, according to the British Retail Consortium.

Yesterday was the biggest online day for retailers, with takings expected to have hit £500m. Retailers are desperate to tap into online business, and several innovations have been launched to make the process simpler.

Network Rail today said it will offer collection points in some of its stations in recognition that more people are shopping online but want to collect their items from convenient hubs.

The BRC and KPMG also found that online sales were up 15 per cent in November compared with the same month last year, and are growing faster than the yearly average of 12 per cent.

However, the high street has also seen an increase in like-for-like sales, up 0.6 per cent last month against a year earlier, as the cold weather saw pent-up demand for warmer clothing released. Food sales suffered, mainly because of lower inflation levels – as figures are calculated on the amount of money spent – but analysts have seen that customers are starting to diverge between wanting high-end food from the likes of Waitrose, or cheaper basics from Aldi and Lidl.

David McCorquodale, the head of retail at KPMG, said: "There is a brutal price war being waged among the grocers, with discount brands appealing to cash-strapped consumers and steadily gaining market share.

"Christmas food sales may well polarise between the luxury treat and the discounted necessity, leaving the middle ground as the battlefield."

He added that shoppers were waiting longer than ever to make their Christmas purchases in the hope retailers could start discounting before the 25th.

"Shoppers are delaying purchases for as long as possible in the hope of securing a discount," he said. "Quite who will crack first in this war of nerves remains to be seen."

Network Rail is to launch a trial at Milton Keynes for customers to pick up packages from the likes of Amazon and Ebay to avoid the disappointment of missing the delivery at home.

The trial will only be open to Network Rail staff at first, but the idea is to allow online shoppers to use the station site as an address point for packages.

Customers are likely to be charged a premium for the service but it is not yet known how much it will cost. The parcel shops, called Doddle stores, are part of a joint venture with Travelex's founder Lloyd Dorfman. They will also be trialled in Paddington and Woking next year.

Network Rail is in negotiations with several retailers in the hope of securing deals for offering services to them, with companies such as Amazon already expressing an interest in having lockers at stations for customer collection.

Asda last week launched a collection service from six London Underground stations where customers can place grocery orders in the morning and collect them after work.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Financial Adviser

£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Guru Careers: Application Support Analyst / 1st Line Support

£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Application Support Analyst / 1st L...

Guru Careers: .NET Developer / Web Developer

£45K - £55K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a full stack .NET D...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence