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Billion-pound online spend predicted for Boxing Day

Online retail spend on Boxing Day will exceed a billion pounds for the first time, according to new figures.

The Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) estimates that consumers will spend as much as £1.03bn through online shopping this year on Boxing Day, a 7.9 percent increase on 2016 when total spend was £954m.

Online shopping on Christmas Day is predicted to reach £844m which represents a 6.3 percent uplift on the same day in 2016, when spending hit £794m.

If that forecast is borne out by shopper activity over that period, it would mean that Black Friday continues to outstrip Boxing Day for online retail spend. In 2017, IMRG recorded £1.39bn spent online for that day – an 11.7 percent increase on Black Friday 2016.

Justin Opie, managing director of IMRG, said: “Boxing day sales remain a fixture of retail and an important day in the calendar, but Black Friday has altered sales patterns over the full peak period and is now the primary discounting event of the season. And perhaps, as with Black Friday, we’re seeing Boxing Day spend become more online-focused.

“Although going out to the shops on that day has long been a British tradition, footfall was reportedly down 7.3 percent on Boxing Day last year.”

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

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