Christmas 2017 wasn’t a boom season for the High Street. UK shoppers increasingly shopped for Christmas presents online in 2017 according to new figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Almost a quarter (24.1%) of non-food shopping took place online in the run up to the festive season, according to the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor for December 2017. That’s an increase from 23% in 2016.
Paul Martin is the head of retail at KPMG and said: “Christmas trading delivered meagre overall like-for-like growth of just 0.6% in December. Online sales on the other hand rose 7.6%, further reinforcing the disparity between the high street and online. Whilst a proportion of this divide can be attributed to Cyber Monday, shoppers are increasingly preferring to shop online, especially at Christmas.”
“Grocers benefitted from festive feasts, but growth elsewhere on the high street was otherwise rather muted for the time of year. In contrast, all online categories grew, with health and beauty, shoes and clothes proving particularly popular. This all comes ahead of customer returns of course, but nevertheless December’s cold weather appeared to contribute to a fashion frenzy.”
Relatively poor weather and promotional events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday were at the core of why online performed so well. In terms of offline, High Street spending benefitted from the grocery sector but this is clearly a trend that continues every Christmas as people increasingly shop online.