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Brits behind a third of all European online shopping: report

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British online spending in 2010 accounted for almost a third of all internet purchases in Europe, according to new figures.

A report from the Centre for Retail Research, carried out for shopping comparison site Kelkoo, found that UK online sales grew by 16% in 2010 to reach £44bn. That’s equivalent to 10.7% of all UK retail sales – and to 30% of total online spending in Europe, valued at £146bn a year.

The report also forecasts that UK online sales will grow by 14% in 2010, from £44bn to £50bn, while wider UK sales will grow by just 1.4%.

UK internet shoppers are expected to spend £1,435 each online, 12% up on 2010’s £1,284. They were outspent by Danish consumers, each spending £1,399 on average last year. Low spenders included Polish consumers, spending £311 per head on average, the Benelux countries (£623) and Spain (674).

Elsewhere in Europe, the report predicts that Germany will see ecommerce grow by 15% while the Polish market grows by 34%, France by 24% and Sweden by 22%.

Richard Stables, chief executive of Kelkoo, said: “UK online retail sales are expected to continue to grow over the coming years, and 2011 will see online sales achieving a significant share of retail trade in the UK, with 12 pence in every £1 expected to be spent online.

“It is widely acknowledged that the recession boosted the appeal of online retailing among UK consumers and it is estimated that consumers save £18bn annually by shopping online as a result of the lower retail prices available on the net.

“While the retail industry is showing slow signs of recovery, the UK online shopping sector bucked the trend in 2010, delivering double-digit growth and is expected to continue to perform strongly in 2011.”

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