Online shopping ‘comes of age’ in time for Boxing Day as millions make most of the sales

Up to 118 million visits to UK retail websites estimated to have been made on each of Christmas Day and Boxing Day

Millions of shoppers hit Britain’s high streets today– some queuing from the early hours - to make the most of Boxing Day discounts as retailers sought to off load stock following a dismal pre-Christmas season.

The Centre for Retail Research projected that £2.22bn was spent in shops yesterday with an extra £540m spent online, making a grand total of more than £2.7bn, The Daily Telegraph reported.

And there were predictions that today could break the record for a single day’s retail spending of £2.8bn, which was hit on December 21 and 27 last year.

Analysts suggested that internet shopping had “come of age” with up to 118 million visits to UK retail websites estimated to have been made on each of Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

 

Experian, a business data group, said that from 24 to 26 December, 45 million hours would be spent shopping online. John Lewis reported a rise in Christmas Day online orders of 19 per cent, with 76 per cent of its traffic coming from mobile phones and tablet computers. 

“The tipping point has now passed and we expect mobile to be the way the majority of people shop online from now on,” said its online director, Mark Lewis. 

Selfridges said its online sales were up 110 per cent, with more than 400,000 visitors to its website on Christmas Day and a record 10 per cent of transactions made on mobile phones.

There was still plenty of old-fashioned high street shopping, however, with tourists – particularly from China, Russia and Nigeria – swelling the numbers and spending up to four times as much as their British counterparts, according to the tax-free shopping guide Global Blue. 

Selfridges reported record-breaking sales of £2m in its first hour of trading at its Oxford Street store yesterday. The shop, boosted by the ITV series about its founder, says 3,500 queued up before the doors opened – some from 11.30pm on Christmas night. A spokeswoman added they expected to see 120,000 through the doors yesterday. 

London’s West End was braced for 1.5 million people, with shoppers expected to spend £50m. Sally Eden, of the New West End Company, said: “By 10am footfall was up nearly 12 per cent [compared with Boxing Day last year].”

The story of pre-dawn queues outside shops such as Next, River Island and Marks and Spencer was the same across the UK with Nottingham’s Victoria and Broadmarsh Centre, Sheffield’s Meadowhall Centre, the Bullring in Birmingham and Cabot Circus in Bristol all reporting tens of thousands of visitors.

An independent retail analyst, Richard Hymans, said the internet had “come of age” with click and collect solving the problem of irregular deliveries.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • 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 General

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power