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Xmas period shows record sales

Online Christmas shopping is predicted to set a new record of GBP15 billion sales for the fourth quarter of 2007 (October-December) according to the newly launched IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

This is 60 percent higher (opens in new tab) than the GBP 9.6 billion recorded during the same period last year.

Despite the huge annual growth in online spend, sales do show signs of weakening with growth slowing 13 percent in October compared to the July - September 2007 period, as a result of higher interest rates and the credit crunch, and the disruption associated with the recent Royal Mail strikes.

Although the average annual growth in e-retail sales doubled in October 2007 to 62 percent, compared to 30.3 percent in the same period last year; this is lower than the growth experienced in July - September, which was 71.3 percent.

However, October’s IMRG Cap Gemini (opens in new tab) e-Retail Sales Index shows continued growth in online shopping with the sector growing more than twice as fast as it did at this time last year.

Internet shopping sales are still growing 20 times faster than high street sales; estimated to be worth just under £1 billion per week, with £4.4 billion being recorded for the whole of October 2007.

Also e-retail's average annual growth for the year to date (January - October2007) has been 52.5 percent, compared with 36.1 percent in the same period in 2006, with total e-retail sales for the first ten months of 2007 worth £35.7 billion.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.