Net lures Christmas shoppers
A report has said, “High street stores are facing a tough Christmas with more shoppers turning to the internet.”
Research by analyst Mintel found that it is going to be a bumper festive season for cyber business, with many people shunning Christmas queues for the ease of the internet.
A survey of 1,000 people by analysts Mintel suggests almost 40% of British adults will buy some of their gifts online – up from 22% four years ago.
Mintel estimates that the average British consumer will spend £366 on present this Christmas, up from £334 in 2004. One in five (19 per cent) of shoppers expect to spend at least £500, with the percentage rising among those aged 25 to 34 and consumers living in the north-west of England.
The UK figure is twice as high as that for people in Germany and France.
Richard Perks, director of retail research at Mintel, commented: “There has been an impressive increase in the number of households with broadband, which has made shopping on-line a lot easier and so for many a much more appealing way to buy Christmas gifts than heading to the high street.
“These broadband users also tend to be younger and more affluent and as such are likely to really push the boat out, giving online retailers even more to shout about this Christmas.”
Axa said, however, 25% of Britons will use loans and credit cards to fund their generosity.
Mintel says the top gifts this year will be music, videos, DVDs and computer software all of which can be bought over the Internet.
“This Christmas is set to be a tough one for High street retailers,” said Richard Perks, Mintel’s director of retail research.
“Tesco on one hand and internet retailers on the other will take the majority of retail growth and the High street is going to be squeezed in between the two.”
Internet shoppers tend to be younger and relatively affluent, according to Mintel’s UK Retail Briefing report.
The report added, that High Street stores should get a late surge in shoppers this year because Christmas Eve falls on a Saturday.