Spending online to jump 15 per cent

Online retail

Data released today has revealed a pre-Christmas surge in online retailing as consumers try to cut the cost of presents and other festive expenses.

However, the expected growth is a fraction of the surge in online spending seen this time last year.

The survey from online retail industry body IMRG and IT firm Capgemini, which reflects data from 60 British online retail sites, said a total of 13.16 billion will be spent by British shoppers in the fourth quarter of 2008 - or 215 for every person in the UK. That equates to a 15 per cent rise in online trading, a sharp slowdown in growth when compared with the 54 per cent year-on-year increase seen in 2007.

"Online sales look set to ride the economic storm and continue to be the place retailers can look for growth. Getting this channel right and overcoming the delivery issues of last year will be key," said Mike Petevinos, head of consulting for retail at Capgemini.

Many traditional retailers are struggling as shoppers cut spending amid rising unemployment, falling house prices and growing fears of recession.

The survey predicted online sales of clothing, footwear and accessories will be worth 1.26 billion during the fourth quarter, with sales bucking general economic trends and rising more than 25 per cent.

It forecast Monday 8 December will be the biggest UK online shopping day of 2008, with sales worth 320 million.


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