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Boxing Day online shopping record
Boxing Day set a new British record for online shopping as crowds descended on high streets once again for another day of frenzied sales.
While thousands of shoppers queued outside stores up and down the country to get ahead of the game, millions more made the most of tumbling prices from the comfort of their own homes.
Britons spent 14 million hours trawling websites on Boxing Day, paying around 113 million visits to online retailers on what became the UK's biggest day for internet shopping, analysts said. Web sales were up by 17% on Boxing Day last year, according to market data firm Experian.
Figures were slightly lower than the 126 million online visits predicted for Boxing Day, something experts attributed to a "sales creep" which saw retailers begin to slash prices before Christmas.
James Murray, digital insight manager at Experian, said: "Boxing Day set a new British record for online shopping with 113 million visits going to retail websites in a single day. However, with a number of the major retailers bringing their sales forward to Christmas Eve, the impact of that was that Boxing Day was slightly muted and not as prolific as we forecast."
Figures show that Christmas Eve was 86% bigger than last year as a shopping day, and Christmas Day was 71% bigger. While Boxing Day fell short of expectations, online shopping is still set to be up on last year by about 30%.
The figures emerged as stores offered further discounts and sparking scenes of mayhem on shop floors.
IThe British Retail Consortium (BRC) said the dash for discounts was boosted by consumers who were feeling the pinch.
BRC spokesman Richard Dodd said: "Customers are under lots of financial pressure and are really keen on seeking out value and taking advantage of bargains."
Kent's Bluewater shopping centre, which welcomed 130,000 visitors on Boxing Day - some of whom queued from 1am - said it was expecting an even busier day on Thursday.