Omicron variant to boost online festive sales says ParcelHero
UK consumer concerns over the new Omicron coronavirus variant will mean there will be another £35 billion+ online spend this Christmas, predicts ParcelHero.
The home delivery business said the arrival of the new Covid-19 ‘variant of concern’, means Britons could make this their second festive season a digital one as shoppers again grow cautious about visiting their high streets.
Before the arrival of Omicron, ParcelHero had been expecting online sales to fall back by around £3 billion.
David Jinks, its Head of Consumer Research, said: “We don’t expect the return of a pre-Christmas lockdown again this year, but shoppers are having to adapt to wearing masks in stores again and are becoming more careful about having contact with other people. That means more Brit[on]s will be ordering online and sending gifts by couriers and delivery networks, rather than delivering them in person.”
He added: “Many analysts forecast overall sales will rise to £84.7 billion this year. That means we still expect to see online sales level-pegging with Christmas 2020, even with a slight fall to 42% of the overall market.”
He noted that the arrival of the Omicron variant was “in some ways, good news for online retailers – and store retailers with a strong website. However, given ongoing driver shortages, ports delays, and supply chain issues, a further surge in online orders may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”
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