Shoppers bag Christmas bargains on net
A Scotsman survey has found, retailers are selling goods online at prices up to 50 per cent lower than in their High Street stores.
We are inundated with cheaper prices on the internet. And now supermarkets are selling cheap wide screen TVs, MP3 players and digital cameras.
It’s a veritable winter wonderland of bargains. Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s are taking on the likes of Dixons, Argos and Comet, three electrical chains who boast record low prices but have recently seen a drop in sales.
And Tesco, which is selling toasters at £5.64 and kettles for £5.48, reckons its prices are so low that it will sell 25,000 flat-screen TVs, 50,000 Apple iPods, 10,000 satellite navigation kits and 70,000 digital cameras before Christmas.
Waterstone’s, Comet and HMV are among those heavily discounting products on their websites amid increasingly fierce competition in the online market place.
The bargains include “must-have” Christmas presents such as the latest Madonna album, digital cameras and DVD players – a policy that could take custom from their shops but has been forced by competition from internet-only retailers who can undercut because they don’t have to pay High Street rent and staff costs.
Electrical goods attract hefty savings, while books are up to half price online.
At Comet’s website, a Sony digital camera was being sold online for £277 yesterday, compared with £399 in store with Waterstone’s selling many titles in its bestseller chart much cheaper through its joint venture with Amazon.
According to the online trade industry body, IMRG, around a fifth of all televisions, DVD players, computers and other electronic gadgets will be bought online this Christmas. And trapped by the expansion of supermarkets and Internet shopping, it is not looking good for the High Street.
New statistics show a record number of Britons, fed up with the push and shove of the shopping centre, will do their Christmas buying online this month. Thanks to those cheaper prices, the spread of speedy broadband connections and higher confidence about shopping online, internet stores are expected to take at least £5bn, a rise of 45% on last year.
Savings on overheads allow the High Street giants to slash online prices. The growth is also fuelled by the spread of fast broadband connections.
Fiona Moriarty, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said some stores would feel the pinch “but other retailers such as clothes and shoe shops will not be affected as shoppers still like to come in and try things on.”