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Two-fifths of shopping to be done online by 2020

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Online sales are set to quadruple to £162bn by 2020, which is 40% of all UK retail.

In 2002, online sales only accounted for 2% of the total retail spend, but uSwitch predicts this figure will reach 15% by the end of 2007.

Inspired by the new capabilities of the internet, broadband has become a way of life for over 13 million people and online sales reached £3.7bn in the four weeks up to Christmas, a 50% increase on 2005.

Steve Weller, head of communication services at, said: “The dramatic surge in online shopping last Christmas shows that British consumers are already savvy to the benefits of buying goods and services over the internet.

“Over the last year broadband prices have fallen by up to 17% while speeds have gone up, making it cheaper and simpler for consumers to log on instead of going out to the shops.

“Online security has greatly improved so our peace of mind is greater than ever before, and the internet makes it easy to shop around at maybe 40 or 50 different stores in one go to make sure that we are getting the best deals.

“The falling number of trips that people make to the shops each year, from 237 in 1994 to 206 in 2005 shows just how busy our lifestyles are getting.

“However, consumers may not be aware that as a nation we could save a massive £13bn a year by shopping online – or £500 for each household. This would pay for your annual broadband cost nearly three times over.”

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