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December 25 set to be one of the busiest online shopping days of the year

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More than half (51%) of UK shoppers are expected to hit the January sales on a spending spree worth £21.9 billion, up £320 million or 1.5% on 2009’s figures, according to new research by Kelkoo.

Shoppers will spend £236 each in the sales — equivalent to over half (57%) the average amount spent (£413) by households on Christmas presents this year. Total spend over the festive season is projected at £66.6 billion.

In total, internet sales in January are expected to reach £4.6 billion, equating to more than a fifth (21%) of the total retail sales in the UK for the month.

January sales bargain hunters are expected to start their shopping early this year, with Christmas Day expected to be one of the best online shopping days of the year. In fact, Kelkoo’s research has revealed that the most popular time for shoppers to hit the online sales is expected to be at 8pm on Christmas Day — 12 hours prior to high street stores opening their doors to bargain hunters.

“As a nation, we can’t resist a bargain,” says Richard Stables, chief executive officer at Kelkoo. “Last year, 3.8 million people bought goods online on Christmas day, a craze which was triggered by several e-retailers like Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Boots, Debenhams and starting their online sales early on December 25. This strategy clearly worked as John Lewis reported 12 times more visitors to its website on Christmas Day last year than in 2007, a trend which we expect to see again this year.

“With the VAT increase set to kick in on January 1 and sales starting earlier every year, it looks as though people will move quickly to snap up a bargain,” he added.

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