Online trading in the UK hits almost £50bn

Consumers in the UK spent almost £50billion shopping on the internet in 2009 according to new research.

Web services firm, Retail Decisions, has said a strong performance by online retailers during the festive period resulted in a 21 per cent increase in the amount of money spent online last year. Around 33 million Brits spent £49.8billion buying products off the internet during the last 12 months.

A report in the Independent said Retail Decisions’ figures help back up the idea that shops saw stronger sales through the internet than they did in stores.

Carl Clump, chief executive of the payment processing specialist, said: “In 2009, 30 per cent of online sales took place in November and December, underlining the importance of the holiday season to retailers.

“Necessities such as white goods for the kitchen took first place followed by laptops, widescreen TVs, digital cameras, games consoles, MP3 players, NetBooks and the iPhone 3G.”

Retail Decisions said it was the first time in 10 years that white goods, such as dishwashers and freezers, had topped the bestsellers list, most probably as a result of shoppers wanting to make large purchases before the 17.5 per cent VAT rate was reintroduced on January 1.

Richard Morris

Richard joined Lakestar McCann as news editor in 2009 and over the past three years has run the company's daily news feed service. Prior to joining the team at Lakestar he worked as a business reporter at Crain's Manchester Business, and spent three years as a general reporter at the North West Evening Mail in Cumbria.

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