Online will overtake store spending for the first time this Christmas

ParcelHero says Brits are likely to spend £39.41bn online this Christmas 

The home delivery expert ParcelHero says that online sales are set to overtake spending in physical stores for the first time this Christmas as Brits brace for a Covid Christmas.

In Christmas 2019, Britain’s shoppers spent over £78bn on Christmas presents and food. ParcelHero says we look set to spend around the same amount again this year but, this time, a far bigger slice of our Christmas budget will be online.

First truly digital Christmas

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT, says: ‘Last Christmas, we spent £25.43bn online and £53.15bn in stores. This year, our research shows the situation will be reversed and we’ll spend more online than offline in the first truly digital Christmas.


‘In September, sales online sales grew 53% YOY, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS). This Christmas, we think they will inch up to 55%. That means online shopping will rise to a record-breaking £39.41bn.

‘We don’t think it’s likely we’ll see a massively increased overall spend this Christmas, as people are concerned for their jobs because of the impact of Covid and Brexit, which looms just seven days after Christmas. So, assuming Brits spend roughly the same as last year, that means in-store shopping will correspondingly drop considerably to £39.17bn.

Pre-ordering for timely delivery

‘YouGov says English shoppers spent £381 on presents last Christmas and £159 on food and drink. Over half of this budget will be spent online this year. We’ve already seen proof we’ll be buying many more presents online in 2020. Online department store sales rose 88% YOY in September as people pre-ordered new PlayStation 5s and Xbox Series X consoles in time for Christmas delivery.


‘With Amazon and Tesco promising free grocery deliveries for Christmas for shoppers in their membership schemes, we’re also expecting food deliveries to soar over the festive period. As even Marks & Spencer launches full-scale food deliveries thanks to its new Ocado tie-in, you could say it’s not just an online Christmas revolution, it’s an M&S online Christmas revolution this year.

Avoiding peak delays

‘All this means home delivery and courier services will be stretched to the maximum this holiday. We recommend you order presents and send your parcels in good time to avoid potential Christmas peak delays. Don’t miss ParcelHero’s live Christmas list of all the major stores’ final order dates and the last parcel mailing dates for the UK and overseas.

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