Early online Xmas shopping hits high street

Shoppers have already spent a third of their Christmas present money –
increasingly online – and are heading to the high street later than last year, a
survey by KPMG has revealed.

The survey, carried out by YouGov for KPMG, found that present buyers have
already spent an average of £104 out of their £333 Christmas present budget,
with some 40% of those questioned yet to start their shopping.

This compares with 36% this time last year, and the fall is most likely due
to an increase in early online shopping. The survey revealed that some 38% of
shoppers have already used the internet to order or buy some of their presents.

Dr Tim Denison, director of knowledge management at SPSL, whose Retail
Traffic Index data was used in KPMG’s survey said: ‘We can surmise from this
that it is the early shopping trips that are being replaced not only by online
searching this year, but by early online buying.

‘Perhaps this is in wake of the memory of scares of late delivery last year.
Very interestingly, it is 30 to 50-year-olds that have been most active in early
online shopping, not the younger generation. Some 43% have already ordered or
bought online this Christmas.’

Head of retail at KPMG, Helen Dickinson, said that this year will most likely
see another year of last-minute buying on the high street. ‘Returning to the
perennial debate of how late the late shopping spree will be this year, our
survey shows that 43% of shoppers will complete their shopping in the week
before Christmas or even on Christmas Eve,’ she said.

‘With 31% of the public’s gift budget already spent, this may mean that
retailers could be in for a polarised trading season. The survey shows further
evidence that people are tightening their belts in terms of how much they intend
to spend.’

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