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  • 13 Jan 2014

Christmas Retail Performance

As Christmas is now behind us and we enter 2014 everyone wants to know how retailers performed over the festive season.

It appears that all reports are pointing towards the success of online trade, with 20% of total retail sales over the Christmas period resulting from online sales, compared to 15% in 2012. According to a report from the BRC £1 in every £5 was spent online this Christmas, and John Lewis reported one third of total sales in the period attributable to online shopping.

Not only were people tucking into their Christmas dinners this year, but it appears they also found time for some online shopping, with 1 in every 88 searches made on Christmas Day containing the word ‘sale’ or ‘sales’.  Etail sales on Christmas Day and Boxing Day were expected to reach £890m.  61% of these sales were made on Boxing Day (IMRG Research), making Boxing Day 2013 the busiest online shopping day ever, with 129m visits to retailers websites on Boxing Day.

Lots of this etail activity was driven by mobile and tablet devices, some of these devices shoppers received as gifts on Christmas day. Mobile shopping has seen a real growth in etail sales with £240m expected to be spent via mobile devices on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.  It is now the case that visits to retailers’ websites via mobile account for 38% of total visits, which is up 58% on the same period last year.

‘Click and Collect’ was also a real champion for retailers in this period, with 30% of all online orders facilitated by ‘Click and Collect’. Many shoppers like using this service as they can go in and collect at a time which is convenient for them, often without a delivery charge, and enabling shoppers to leave their Christmas shopping right up until the last minute…mentioning no names!   Click and collect is fast becoming a preferred method of shopping especially with its convenient delivery option.

Non-food performance was the best performing category, with health and beauty the best performing, followed by fashion (cited in Retail Week).  The likes of John Lewis, House of Fraser, Jigsaw and Next performed well.

In terms of where people were shopping in the run up to Christmas, shopping malls had the edge on sales performance over city and town centres. Footfall was above average in shopping malls in the period. This could be attributed to the wet weather and the closeness and low cost or free parking options vs those faced in city centres.

Did you find yourself shopping on your mobile on Christmas Day?  Or did you face the shops on Boxing Day?  Let us know your shopping style.

We also spoke to BBC Radio Nottingham about Christmas shopping performance, download our podcast here if you want hear more.

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