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Alcohol number one in festive online sales

Published:  16 January, 2009

People turned to the internet last Christmas for the best discounted alcohol deals, according to new research released by online specialists, IMRG.

It estimates there was a 13% increase in online alcohol sales in December against November with the average spend per customer buying alcohol online over the festive period was £75 per visit. Alcohol was also the best performing retail or grocery category online during December, said IMRG.

In total some £4.67 billion was spent online in the UK in December, which is the equivalent of £76.67p for every person in the country, a 14.2% increase on December 2007. This contrasts sharply with a 1.7% fall in high street sales in December, the worst retail performance for 14 years, according to the British Retail Consortium.

Over a third (37%) of shoppers did more than half their shopping online last Christmas with 59% saying they spent more this year online than in 2007.

IMRG estimates some four million people went online on Christmas Day to take advantage of high street sales, rather than wait for Boxing Day. A 21% increase on 2007.

Overall online sales in 2008 was £43.8 billion, which accounts for 15% of all retail sales.

IMRG predicts that by 2020 90% of all retail transactions will either be online or influenced by people searching first for the best deals through the internet.