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Brits to do £5bn worth of their Christmas shopping online

But they want to be able to collect their pressies from the high street

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Online sales in Blighty are forecast to reach £5bn this Christmas, making up just under one-eighth of the total £40.3bn in festive shopping this season.

Beancounters at Deloitte said that Brit shoppers would push online retail up 19 per cent year-on-year, driven by the general rise in popularity of internet shopping and the growth of click-and-collect delivery for goods.

The professional services firm said that an estimated 20,000 click-and-collect points around the country would be in use this Christmas and it was a service that customers were now expecting retailers to offer.

“After last year’s click-and-collect Christmas, consumers’ expectations around flexible delivery over the coming festive period are higher than ever before," warned Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at Deloitte. "Store collection is now seen as a basic offering and those retailers without this capability will struggle to convert online sales and lose resulting footfall in-store.

“This year, the consumer will be challenging retailers’ ability to deliver a sofa at home in a specified time-slot; transfer a party dress to their local store for same day collection and drop off their Christmas DVDs at a convenient locker.”

Recent Deloitte research found that nearly half of British consumers reckon empty high street shops should be used as convenient collection points, while 36 per cent want to be able to grab their goods from lockers or independent stores near their home or work.

Mega etailer Amazon is just one internet shop that's considering expanding its click-and-collect network, talking to London Underground about the possibility of using soon-to-be-vacated ticket offices. The Tube network announced that manned offices were to be closed in almost the same breath as it announced that Asda would be using some of the offices for its delivery services. ®

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