U.K. online sales projected to increase by 16.3% to £13.43B this holiday season, while traditional-store sales are projected to fall by 2.1% to £55.66B, according to study

LOS ANGELES , December 16, 2011 () – According to a study by the Centre for Retail Research, U.K. online sales are projected to fall by 16.3% to £13.43 billion this holiday season, while high street sales are projected to fall by 2.1% to £55.66 billion, Internet Retailing reported on Dec. 16.

The study estimated that there will be £1.64 billion worth of m-commerce sales during this period.

In total, retail sales during the 2011 holiday season are expected to be worth £69.09 billion, which is a 1% increase from the £680 million that was spent during the same time last year.

Kelkoo Com (UK ) Ltd., a shopping comparison site, said that on Dec. 17, popularly known as ‘Panic Sunday,’ high street consumers will spend £1.5 million a minute, reaching a total of £1.05 billion.

Chris Simpson, the chief marketing officer at Kelkoo, said, “The peak weeks of Christmas trading are crucial to retailers as this period accounts for nearly one fifth of the U.K. retail industry’s annual sales, making stores fight harder than ever to tempt shoppers through their doors. However, despite all of the high street promotions and discounts that are already being offered, it’s really important for shoppers who want to save money to check prices online before hitting the shops as many retailers operate a split pricing structure whereby prices on their websites are lower than in their high street stores.”

He added, “The good news for last minute shoppers is that some retailers will take last online orders as late as 22nd or 23rd December, so consumers can take advantage of competitive online prices right up to a few days before Christmas Day. However, by placing last minute orders consumers need to remember that they’ll be at the mercy of stock levels and in certain cases more expensive postal charges.”

The primary source of this article is Internet Retailing, London, England, on Dec. 16, 2011.

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