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Online Christmas shopping on track to grow by 16% this Christmas

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Online sales are set to rise by 16.3% this Christmas, while high street sales will slump by 2.1%, according to the latest figures.

Some £13.43bn will be taken by online traders, while their high street counterparts will see sales fall to£55.66bn, found research carried out for Kelkoo by the Centre for Retail Research and released ahead of what is expected to be the busiest day of the year on Britain’s high streets. It’s expected that £1.64bn will be spent via mobile phone this Christmas, taking the total spent over the festive season to £69.09bn, up by 1%, or £680m, on the same time last year.

Shopping comparison site Kelkoo says that tomorrow, ‘Panic Saturday,’ some 11m consumers will hit the high street to spend an average of £128 each. That adds up to £1.5m a minute, or £1.05bn in total. But, it warns, there is still time for shoppers to buy online – and that’s worth doing, it says, since savings of up to 45% are available on this year’s most popular gifts, from the Canon Powershot (£329.99 online, £449.95 on the high street) to the Kidizoom Twist Digital Camera (£27.50 online, £49.99 in the high street) and Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Skin Protectant (£16.04 online, £25 high street).

Chris Simpson, chief marketing officer at Kelkoo, said: “The peak weeks of Christmas trading are crucial to retailers as this period accounts for nearly one fifth of the UK retail industry’s annual sales, making stores fight harder than ever to tempt shoppers through their doors.

“However, despite all of the high street promotions and discounts that are already being offered, it’s really important for shoppers who want to save money to check prices online before hitting the shops as many retailers operate a split pricing structure whereby prices on their websites are lower than in their high street stores.

“The good news for last minute shoppers is that some retailers will take last online orders as late as 22nd or 23rd December, so consumers can take advantage of competitive online prices right up to a few days before Christmas Day. However, by placing last minute orders consumers need to remember that they’ll be at the mercy of stock levels and in certain cases more expensive postal charges.”

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