Despite dour weather forecasts, shoppers in the U.K. came out in droves and online yesterday to spend a reported record £3 billion online and in stores in the largest sales day in years. According to the Daily Mail, shoppers lined up from 10:30 p.m. on Christmas Day outside some stores to snap-up the best deals, with a record £519,000 spent every minute online. Despite the spike in sales, high streets across Britain were quieter than in recent years with more people than ever choosing to do their shopping from home.
The Inquisitr reported previously on predicted huge boxing day sales.
The Independent reports Jace Tyrrell, deputy CEO of the New West End Company, which represents more than 600 retailers across London’s West End, said Oxford Street was lined with “eager” bargain-hunters this morning.
“It was a good Boxing Day, but I think today and tomorrow will be even stronger,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of international visitors — I’d say three quarters of the street crowds were overseas tourists.”
He said visitors from China, the Middle East, and Nigeria were spending significant amounts of money on luxury items in big department stores.
Experian spokesman Nick Jones said the online figures were promising according to the Independent. Figures out this morning confirmed a big jump in online spending on Christmas Day compared with last year, he said, with Experian Hitwise analytics recording 147 million visits to retail websites on December 25, up from 110 million on Christmas Day, 2013.
“It’s a big increase on last year,” he said. “Retailers have been getting better at connecting with their customers and people are shopping online as a leisure activity.”
According to the Daily Mail, the number of people pounding the pavements yesterday was predicted to be two percent less than last year, with more consumers spending their money from the comfort of their own homes. The popularity of Black Friday last month — which saw impatient customers storm supermarkets across the country to get their hands on cut-priced televisions and coffee machines — also affected yesterday’s business, experts said.
“There is no doubt that Black Friday, related pre-Christmas discounting, and Click & Collect have impacted trading for physical retailers,” Diane Wehrle, Retail Insights Director at industry experts Springboard, said.
“However, this has been combined with a general downward trend that we are seeing as a result of shoppers turning to the convenience and speed of online over high streets and shopping centers. It is now time for the high street and shopping centers to take action in ensuring shoppers continue to spend money with them. They may not be able to win in technology and price but they can win in customer experience – bringing back shopping as an enjoyable ‘national sport.”’
[Image via The Independent]