Shoppers set Boxing Day sales records online and in store

Britons spent 14 million hours trawling websites yesterday

Boxing Day set a new British record for online shopping, figures showed today as crowds descended on high streets once again for another day of frenzied sales.

While thousands of shoppers queued outside stores up and down the country to get ahead of the game, millions more made the most of tumbling prices from the comfort of their own homes.

Fears of consumers tightening their belts in the face of tough economic conditions were quickly shelved, with an estimated 10 million shoppers believed to have spent about £2.9bn.

Britons spent 14 million hours trawling websites yesterday, paying around 113 million visits to online retailers on what became the UK's biggest day for internet shopping, analysts said.

Web sales were up by 17% on Boxing Day last year, according to market data firm Experian.

Figures were slightly lower than the 126 million online visits predicted for Boxing Day, something experts attributed to a "sales creep" which saw retailers begin to slash prices before Christmas.

James Murray, digital insight manager at Experian, said: "Boxing Day set a new British record for online shopping with 113 million visits going to retail websites in a single day.

"However, with a number of the major retailers bringing their sales forward to Christmas Eve, the impact of that was that Boxing Day was slightly muted and not as prolific as we forecast."

Figures show that Christmas Eve was 86% bigger than last year as a shopping day, and Christmas Day was 71% bigger.

While Boxing Day fell short of expectations, online shopping is still set to be up on last year by about 30%.

The figures emerged as stores threw open their doors this morning, offering further discounts and sparking scenes of mayhem on shop floors.

It was another busy day in London's bustling West End where footfall hit record levels yesterday - up 31.3% on Boxing Day last year.

Similar scenes played out across the rest of the country as retailers offered hefty discounts in a bid to lure shoppers and compete with online rivals.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said the dash for discounts was boosted by consumers who were feeling the pinch.

BRC spokesman Richard Dodd said: "Customers are under lots of financial pressure and are really keen on seeking out value and taking advantage of bargains.

"Today will be another big day when some retailers will launch their sales and that will help to continue the momentum."

Kent's Bluewater shopping centre, which welcomed 130,000 visitors yesterday - some of whom queued from 1am - said it was expecting an even busier day today.

The mall, which predicts some 900,000 people will surge through its doors during the next six days, is open until 10pm tonight.

Robert Goodman, Bluewater's general manager, said: "Boxing Day's momentum has continued into today, with the opening of the John Lewis clearance sale being a major draw."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established managed services IT...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

Recruitment Genius: Plant Fitter - Construction Industry

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This well established construction equipment d...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003