Christmas shopping set to increase this year

Two notable trends are becoming apparent in the pre-Christmas evaluations and calculations of those who study these things.  One is that people in the U.K. are spending and will continue to spend more money on their Christmas shopping than they did last year, and the other is that a lot more of that shopping will be done online.

The IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, updated last month, showed some rather surprising figures indicating that online retail sales increased by 24 % over the same month last year.  Sales between January and September rose by 16%, 3% more than IMRG had predicted.  Translated to pounds, the figures indicate that U.K. consumers will spend about £57.8 billion for the year, as opposed to £49.8 billion in 2009.

Overall it appears that there will not be a cutback in Christmas spending, though the October figures may be partly due to consumers buying ahead of time to avoid the VAT increase in January 2011.  Even with the government’s spending cuts, IMRG is still predicting that online sales for the month of December will reach £6.4 billion, almost a billion more than the December 2009 mark.

According to all predictions, online sales will continue to show the greatest growth, since the Net is where people tend to go for better prices, greater choice, more convenience and delivery options.  Retailers who have a presence online should be take heed and ramp up their Christmas presentations.