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Christmas shopping peaks later this year – and there’s still time to reserve online

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Leading multichannel retailers John Lewis and House of Fraser have both reported their online shopping season peaked later this year than in previous years.

Payment processor also says that online transactions were up by nearly 15% more during this year’s festive online shopping season than at the same time last year.

At John Lewis, sales in the week to December 17 broke records as sales rose above £130m for the first time, hitting £133.1m. That was 7.8% up on the previous week, also a record breaker. Online, records were also broken – again – as sales rose by 42.2% compared to the same week last year.

Andy Street, managing director, John Lewis, added: “It is without doubt a tough time for many families at this time of year. The fact that we have achieved another record week speaks volumes for John Lewis customers understanding that we will always honour our pledge to be ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ and will ensure to be the best provider of quality, value and service to make Christmas for them and their families a truly memorable event.”

House of Fraser said that online buyers were shopping later because they trusted their orders would arrive on time.

While December 5, Cyber Monday, was expected to be a peak for online sales, the department store said its sales for the following Monday, December 12, were up by 43.6% compared to December 5, and 112.4% year-on-year.

Its head of multichannel, Robin Terrell, said the lift confirms that this year customers are more likely to believe in their deliveries arriving before Christmas.

Terrell, executive director for multichannel and international at House of Fraser, said: “There is no doubt that for House of Fraser Cyber Monday has come later this year. Customers are given a variety of trusted delivery options, giving them the confidence to leave their online shopping until nearer Christmas. We saw a very positive response from our customers on Cyber Monday (5th December) but this week has really been phenomenal for us.”

In the period from Sunday December 11 to Thursday December 15, buoyant categories included womenswear, with 5,000 dresses sold online, accessories and shoes, with 2,300 pairs of shoes and 3,000 purses and handbags sold, and knitwear, with 6,000 items sold in a week.

House of Fraser also said its online store sales had been growing by more than 100%, following initiatives such as Buy and Collect, m-commerce, new delivery options and two new format House of stores, where customers can order and collect items but which carry no stock, in Aberdeen (pictured) and Liverpool.

According to, some 14.8% more transactions were made online this year than last, between December 1 and 18.

Michael Norton, managing director of said: “People find their money goes far further when shopping online and this Christmas is no exception. The better weather this month has also meant fewer doubts about gifts arriving in time for the big day.”

“Such big increases in consumer spending show how savvy British shoppers are trawling the web to get the best prices they can, and also demonstrates the remarkable buoyancy of the UK e-commerce sector.”

The buoyant sales came as Barclaycard released figures showing that Christmas present-buying panic would peak today, as the delivery cut off point was reached for many online traders. However many multichannel traders are still pointing out that there’s still time to order gifts using next-day delivery and that customers can also reserve online and collect in store.

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