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Online shopping poses threat to January sales

Published:  23 December, 2011

It is estimated that up to £186 million could be spent online on Christmas day, as shoppers try to get ahead of high street January sales, according to online retail platform Shopow.

The online retailers could eat in to market share usually taken up by the high street, due to shops having already discounted heavily throughout November and December in a bid to balance their books.

On the back of what has been a crucial year in the growth of online shopping, there are hopes of a final flourish in trading to end 2011, says Shopow.

Ellen Flood, independent shopping expert from Shopow, said, "This is the first year when the online stores will pose serious competition to the high street in terms of the sales.

"Shoppers will look to get a march on those who will flock to the shopping centres on Boxing Day by looking for sale items online as a more convenient and less hectic means of finding deals.

"And those who didn't get what they wanted from Santa will also use the internet as a first opportunity to complete their wishlists."

Flood estimates retailers will be hoping they haven't backed themselves into a corner by starting their sales too early.

"The danger is that shoppers could become desensitised by the idea of lowered prices and may not see the attraction as vividly as previous years.

"Those stores that did hold their nerve and their prices in the run up to Christmas have their last throw of the dice for this year if they are to recoup earlier losses."