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Online retailers have had a more successful Christmas than their high street counterparts, with IMRG reporting that high street sales are down , and online sales up by between 40 and 50% compared to 2005.

Larger internet retailers like Tesco and Amazon seem to have enjoyed a particularly successful Christmas period, with both setting records for online sales.

Amazon received 4 million orders on its busiest day, December 11, beating 2005's record of 3.4 million orders. Meanwhile, Tesco.com received 1.3 million visitors over the Christmas period, with overall sales up 30% on last Christmas.

Full statistics for December will not be available until January 15, but IMRG is now predicting that spending for the four weeks up to Christmas Eve will total up to £3.7 billion, having previously predicted £3.2 billion.

IMRG also said that online now accounts for 10% of total retail sales in the UK, compared to just 0.5% in 2000.

Things were not so rosy on the high street though, with research firm Footfall reporting an 8.5% drop in the volume of shoppers for the week before Christmas, compared with the same period in 2005.

Sales at Next seem to have followed a similar pattern, with Next Retail reporting a 7.5% decline in sales for the 21 weeks up to Christmas, while Next Directory's sales (50% of which are estimated to be online) rose by 9.3%.

Further Reading:
An internet Christmas round-up

Graham Charlton

Published 5 January, 2007 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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