Omicron variant ‘means £35bn online Christmas’

ParcelHero has claimed that the arrival of the Omicron variant means “a second £35 billion online Christmas”.

The parcel delivery firm said the the new Covid-19 strain means we are likely to see online spending match last year’s, which it estimated at £35.26 billion, because of shoppers growing caution about visiting the High Street.

Last year, the closure of non-essential shops during November’s lockdown forced many to do their shopping online for the first time, said the company’s head of consumer research, David Jinks.

“Online Christmas spending grew from ‘only’ £22.28 billion in 2019 to £35.26 billion in 2020, while physical stores saw a huge fall from £60.85 billion in 2019 to £44.44 billion in 2020, according to figures from Statista,” explained Jinks. “That made it the High Street’s worst-ever holiday season.”

He added: “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 Brits will be ordering online and sending gifts by couriers and delivery networks, rather than delivering them in person.”

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