Harsh wintery weather that hit large parts of the UK last week led to high street retailers losing an average of £110 million each day, according to the latest research.
Price comparison website Kelkoo estimates that nationwide high street sales declined nine per cent year-on-year last week, as treacherous roads and pavements along with severe train disruption kept customers and staff members at home.
Retailers were boosted in this slump however by a 19 per cent uplift in internet sales, thought to be equivalent to an increase of £130 million per day.
Chris Simpson, Marketing Director at Kelkoo, commented: “Just as retailers were getting used to the idea of a good Christmas to aid the recovery, they are hit with the worst weather in years.
“Consumers have little interest in venturing into a winter wonderland; instead it’s all about surfing online in the comfort of their own home, with key multichannel retailers like John Lewis reporting a trend of flat sales in their stores, while online sales have seen a dramatic increase of 62 per cent.”
With the Christmas period in full swing now, the high street cash registers should be ringing non-stop but it seems as though the weather has only exacerbated a bigger issue.
According to a report published by Santander Credit Cards, only 57 per cent of the UK’s total spend on Christmas will be spent on the high street this year.
Online UK retailers will take £6.4 billion in sales with 70 per cent of festive customers making purchases online.
Perhaps surprisingly, and worryingly for domestic companies, one in ten UK shoppers will be buying gifts abroad with overseas retailers set to receive £838 million of Britain’s Christmas cash.
Ian Coles, Director for Santander Credit Cards, said: “With many people tightening their belts, shopping for Christmas gifts online can provide a more cost effective and convenient way of shopping.
“Others are perhaps hoping to seek out a different choice of goods and in some cases preferable exchange rates, with our research showing that around four million people are planning to do all or part of their Christmas shopping abroad.”