Myth #4: The High Street is dead. It’s all about online retailers at Christmas

It’s no surprise where this notion of dwindling High Streets and mighty e-commerce retailers has materialised from; looking at the spend figures from Christmas 2014 alone, of the total £74bn coughed up over the 6 week period between mid-November and the end of December, £17bn of this was online  –  up a staggering 20% from Christmas 2013!

Therefore, there’s no doubting the increase in popularity of online Christmas shopping, but does this mean the chop for the High Street Christmas shop?

According to our Future of Christmas research, the answer to this myth is no. In fact, this increase in e-commerce is shifting our Christmas shopping into more of a multi-channel experience – with 80% of the Brits reporting buying their Christmas gifts both in store and online, and only 1 in 10 doing all their gift shopping exclusively online or in-store.


When we are shopping in-store and online is shifting too. It’s well documented that High Street shopping increases consistently as Christmas approaches; peaking in the last week as standard delivery becomes an issue. More interestingly however, is that 84% of us still shop online during Christmas week, suggesting that online shopping is no longer reserved for the planned shopper – last minute shoppers are edging in too, no longer left with the High Street as their only option.

It’s important to note that the High Street is more than just a physical location to purchase gifts. From both our survey and online community we found High Street stores during Christmas are both a form of inspiration for gifts and also a source of entertainment – with 41% saying they started their search for gifts in-store.

“I love going to different stores and find the best deals and the best presents. Also the shop displays are invaluable on what I might choose and the ease of looking at the different products.“

Female, 35 from London.  

So what?

Overall, It’s a bit early to say that the High Street is dead, but the lines are blurring. Retail is hugely important for inspiration and driving additional sales, so retailers need to merge on & offline consumer offerings to attain the highest value.


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