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Start of the winter sales marks the latest phase in a season of discounting

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In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we’re continuing to map the shape of Christmas spending, and finding that sales have been the key to spending for shoppers and retailers alike. We’ve evidence of a marked lift in Black Friday spending, especially online, in the latest ONS retail sales figures, while PwC analysis suggests that more retailers than ever are cutting their prices before Christmas, rather than after – with Black Friday week marking the high – or low – point for price cutting this year. But the gap between Black Friday discounting and the start of the winter sales is getting smaller, with sales already underway on a range of websites, even as retailers still push final opportunities to buy gifts online in time for Christmas delivery.

Despite the early start to sales, IMRG and SimilarWeb still expect that Christmas Day and Boxing Day will be busy for shoppers keen to start buying for themselves via mobile.

Elsewhere, we’re reporting today on Amazon’s first drone delivery, which took place in the UK, on Dixons Carphone as it reports growing profits and sales thanks to a focus on the customers’ needs, and on as it buys PrettyLittleThing.

Finally, today’s guest comment comes from Jennifer Watkiss of Adestra, who considers ways that retailers can make email work for them ever more effectively.

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