Dec 18, 2017
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As UK stores close, Christmas Day will be huge e-shopping moment says IMRG

Dec 18, 2017

The Christmas shopping season may not have been one of the best in the UK, but Christmas Day itself will see a healthy rise in e-shopping, followed by a good Boxing Day increase, a new report said Monday.

UK stores will be deserted on Christmas Day but consumers will be spending nearly £850m online

UK e-tail spend on December 25 should rise 6.3% to £844 million, IMRG said, with Boxing Day (December 26) up an even stronger 7.9% to £1.03 billion. 

That latter figure is an interesting one given that there has been a lot of speculation about how much the Black Friday discount frenzy is denting Boxing Day’s status as the traditional start to the clearance season. But while the day clearly still seems to be key for many consumers when it comes to tracking down bargains, the likely strength of the day online could hurt physical stores still further at a time when they’re already reeling from lower visitor traffic.

Despite Boxing Day’s ongoing importance, if IMRG’s prediction happens, Black Friday will still be the big winner for the season (and year) as a whole. Black Friday 2017 saw £1.39 billion of e-spend, up 11.7%.

IMRG managing director Justin Opie said the Boxing Day sales are still important but Black Friday has transformed shopper and retailer behaviour and is now the key discount day for the Christmas season.

He also said that just like Black Friday, Boxing day spend is also becoming more online-focused, “Although going out to the shops on that day has long been a British tradition, footfall was reportedly down 7.3% on Boxing Day last year,” he explained.

But of course, when talking about Boxing Day, we have to include Christmas Day in the calculations. It’s a day when many consumers kick off their clearance sale shopping (armed with Christmas gift cards) and so is an almost-early extension of Boxing day itself.

Opie added: “It’s likely that spend on Christmas Day is pulling some of that order volume forward as shoppers have the ability to browse and buy from the sofa on mobile devices during quiet moments, redeeming the huge numbers of gift cards and coupons that they receive in place of presents each year.”

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