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Online retailing powers ahead in the UK as sales triple

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The amount of money spent online by UK consumers increased by 33.4% to £10.9bn last year, according to retail analysts Verdict Research.

The research group said that faster and cheaper Internet access was powering the growth at a time when many High Street retailers are witnessing a decline in demand.

Of 3,000 customers surveyed, two-thirds had broadband Internet connections and shopped online more for this reason. The company’s research covered online spending on goods, and did not embrace flights, tickets and insurance.

Verdict commented that food retailers that were not already providing an online service were keeping away from the sector as the cost of launching a web operation was prohibitively high.

And small, specialist retailers were avoiding the online arena because the small scale of their operations made it hard to fund the necessary infrastructure.

Verdict predicts that in 2011, online retailing will be worth about £28.1bn, or about 8.9% of the UK’s total retail sales.

“Even with some retailers staying out of the market, online sales in the UK are set to triple in value,” said a spokesperson for Verdict.

“By 2011, the typical spend of an online shopper will grow to £1,056 a year, with the clothing and footwear, DIY and gardening, and food and grocery sectors achieving the fastest growth.”


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