Bargain hunters have been lured away from their TV sets in their millions today as the new festive tradition of online shopping saw a record amount of money spent online. On Boxing Day it is expected to be the high street’s turn to be inundated as retail outlets look to shift winter goods still filling stockrooms because of the unseasonable weather.
Record numbers were expected to spend “a significant proportion” of their Christmas Day shopping online, spending an estimated £728m, up 11 per cent on last year’s £658m, according to data firm Experian and online retailing trade association IMRG.
Experian spokesman, Nick Jones, said: “We have already witnessed record-breaking spending over the festive period. On Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend, spending reached a phenomenal £3.3 billion across the four days.
“On Boxing Day alone a huge £856m is expected to be spent, up 22 per cent on last year. In addition, rightly or wrongly, we’ve seen more people than ever spending a significant proportion of their Christmas Day shopping online.”
Some of the bigger stores, such as John Lewis, Debenhams and M&S would be offering up to 50 per cent discount on their online stores, analysts suggested.
Shoppers will leave the virtual mall for the real one today, analysts say, with 22 million shoppers expected to spend £3.7bn in the Boxing Day sales – a 6 per cent increase on last year – according to VoucherCodes.co.uk and the Centre for Retail Research.
It predicted that 78 per cent of Boxing Day transactions will take place in bricks and mortar stores.
“Anyone selling coats, jumpers and boots has had a difficult time. There is going to be heavy discounting of those goods after Christmas,” said Andy Lyon, a retail expert at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
VoucherCodes managing director, Claire Davenport, said: “While pre-Christmas sale dates have soared in popularity over the last couple of years, it seems they are yet to take over our more traditional savings days, with many retailers choosing to go all out on Boxing Day, running deals as early as Christmas Day right through to the start of the new year.
“Judging from our research, it looks as though consumer appetite to snap up deals is here to stay, both on the high street and online.”
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