Online retailers predict big rise in Christmas sales

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Online retailers are bullish about the run up to Christmas with sales estimated to rise to £6.4bn in December, according to IMRG, the e-commerce trade association.

Last December, consumers spent £5.5bn online – itself a 17 per cent rise on the year before.

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The IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index for October revealed that shoppers spent a total of £5.2 billion online during October, equivalent to £85 per person. This is the highest October growth since pre-recession levels.

Chris Webster, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini said: “The market continues to grow ahead of our expectations and this is a crucial time for e-retailers to beat the competition by using innovative strategies and tactical promotions in the run up to Christmas. The web is consistently seen as the place to go for bargains and retailers with an online presence should use this to their advantage.”

The survey showed a 33 per cent increase for the clothing sector – attributing this to Christmas party outfits and presents for friends and family.

“The gifts sector grew by a huge 76 per cent in October compared to September, indicative of the start of the Christmas buying surge and a trend seen in previous years. As people rushed to finish off home improvements before Christmas, the home and garden sector grew 22 per cent compared to the previous month.”

Bjorn Kvarby, European Managing director of, said: “2010 is proving to be an incredible year for online shopping, as consumers begin to realise just how easy, time-efficient, and cost effective it is to find what they are looking for online.

“We’re already predicting overall growth for at 23 per cent for December 2010, year-on-year, and believe it’s going to be a bumper Christmas for the online retail market.”

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