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Shoppers prefer high street during Christmas build-up

Online sales fell -8.2% YOY in October, but don’t bet against a second online Christmas, says ParcelHero.

The latest retail figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal a dip of -0.6% in the value of online sales in October compared to September, even though retail sales overall (High Street and online) grew 1.6%. That doesn’t mean to say 2021 won’t be a second online Christmas, says the home delivery expert ParcelHero.

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., says: ‘It’s great that the High Street enjoyed a better month. Sports and toy store sales volumes boomed by 7.6% as Brits responded to Christmas supply warnings and started shopping early. Clothes stores will be relieved by increased sales of 6.2%. It was particularly heartening to see fashion sales are now only 0.5% below their pre-pandemic level.

‘In contrast to the booming High Street, online sales actually fell by -0.6% against September and a hefty -8.2% compared to October 2020. However, they still snatched 27.3% of people’s entire retail spend.

‘ParcelHero’s own research shows that Christmas online sales rose by a stunning 56% last year compared to 2019 and that e-commerce spending will soar in November as present buying starts in earnest. In fact, this year, 1 in 3 shoppers plan to buy entirely online.

‘With all this in mind, we fear many of our leading retailers’ final online order delivery dates are too optimistic this year, and that they haven’t built in a safety margin for delays and stock shortages created by Covid and Brexit.

‘Given the current strain on delivery services, we won’t be surprised if retailers change to earlier final order dates as Christmas nears. That’s why our continually updated Christmas deadlines tool is so useful for keeping shoppers in the know with all their favourite retailers’ final order dates.

‘To check the easy-to-use retailers’ final order and final mailing dates tool, see:


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