Belfast Telegraph

Online retailers cash in on UK Christmas spend

Britons will splash an estimated £16.7bn on Christmas gifts this year — but only just over half will be spent in traditional high street stores, according to research from a credit card company.

The Santander findings show the average Briton will spend £359 on Christmas gifts over the festive season. But the high street will get only 57% of it, with 38% going to online retailers — equivalent to £6.4bn.

A further 5% (£838m) of the festive spend will be received by firms based overseas.

According to the research, 4.2m (9%) shoppers are planning to buy Christmas gifts from overseas online retailers, spending on average around 35% of their budget. An additional 4.2m will spend around 23% on Christmas shopping while abroad.

Ian Coles, a director with Santander, said: “With many people tightening their belts, shopping for Christmas gifts online can provide a more cost effective and convenient way of shopping.

“Others are perhaps hoping to seek out a different choice of goods and in some cases preferable exchange rates, with our research showing that around four million people are planning to do all or part of their Christmas shopping abroad.”

Belfast Telegraph