January 19, 2004, 12:00 AM

U.K. online Christmas shopping soars 70% over year before

Online holiday spending in the U.K. reached £2.5 billion, the trade association Interactive Media in Retail Group reports, 70% above the year before. The group reports that, similar to the U.S., online sales remained strong late into the shopping season.

Online holiday spending in the U.K. reached £2.5 billion, the trade association Interactive Media in Retail Group reports, 70% above the year before. The group reports that, similar to the U.S., online sales remained strong late into the shopping season as consumers’ confidence in online shopping and timely delivery grew. Sales did not start to trail off until Dec. 22, the IMRG says.

The IMRG reports that online sales now account for 7% of all U.K. retail sales. Among the leading categories throughout the year and during the Christmas shopping season was consumer electronics. Retailers sold $2 billion of consumer electronics merchandise online last year, 8.5% of all consumer electronics sales. During December, 12.5% of all such products were sold over the Internet, the IMRG says.

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