Santa Don't Shop

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that a record number of Britons, fed up with the crush, bustle and hassle of the high street, will do their Christmas shopping online this month, according to new figures.

Internet stores are expected to take at least £5 billion, a rise of 45 per cent on last year. The growth has been fuelled by cheaper prices, the spread of fast broadband connections and greater confidence about shopping online.

However, while the rise of "e-tailing" may be good news for shoppers, there are signs that it is ripping out the heart of the high street.

According to the online retail industry, internet shopping accounted for 8.6 per cent of all sales in October and will grow to nine per cent in December. There are now 26,000 online shops.

The growth has been led by electrical goods. Around a fifth of televisions, DVD players, computers and other electronic gadgets will be bought online this Christmas, according to the online trade industry body IMRG.

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