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Christmas prediction: Online to overtake store spending

27 October 2020

ParcelHero says the UK are likely to spend £39.41bn online this Christmas as online spending is predicted to outstrip High Street sales for the first time.

In Christmas 2019, Britain’s shoppers spent over £78bn on Christmas presents and food. ParcelHero says we look set to spend around the same amount again this year but, this time, a far bigger slice of our Christmas budget will be online.

ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks MILT, says: “Last Christmas, we spent £25.43bn online and £53.15bn in stores. This year, our research shows the situation will be reversed and we’ll spend more online than offline in the first truly digital Christmas.

“In September, sales online sales grew 53% YOY, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS). This Christmas, we think they will inch up to 55%. That means online shopping will rise to a record-breaking £39.41bn.

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“We don’t think it’s likely we’ll see a massively increased overall spend this Christmas, as people are concerned for their jobs because of the impact of Covid and Brexit, which looms just seven days after Christmas. So, assuming Brits spend roughly the same as last year, that means in-store shopping will correspondingly drop considerably to £39.17bn.

“YouGov says English shoppers spent £381 on presents last Christmas and £159 on food and drink. Over half of this budget will be spent online this year. We’ve already seen proof we’ll be buying many more presents online in 2020. Online department store sales rose 88% YOY in September as people pre-ordered new PlayStation 5s and Xbox Series X consoles in time for Christmas delivery.

“With Amazon and Tesco promising free grocery deliveries for Christmas for shoppers in their membership schemes, we’re also expecting food deliveries to soar over the festive period. As even Marks & Spencer launches full-scale food deliveries thanks to its new Ocado tie-in, you could say it’s not just an online Christmas revolution, it’s an M&S online Christmas revolution this year," concluded David.