Smartphones take centre stage in the Christmas shopping rush

Kasmira Jefford
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CONSUMERS will not be far from their smartphones when stocking up on gifts this Christmas, with some £3.5bn sales expected to be purchased on or influenced by smartphones, according to business advisory firm Deloitte.

The accountancy firm predicts 10 per cent of in-store Christmas sales (£3.2bn) will be influenced by smartphones, with another £330m of sales made directly through the devices. A further £500m in sales will be made through tablets.

Overall, online retail sales are expected to jump by 17 per cent in December with total UK retail sales edging up by one per cent, helped by a slightly lower inflation pressure than 2011.

John Lewis said online sales jumped 34.6 per cent in the week to Saturday compared with the same time last year thanks to the Black Friday effect – the day following Thanksgiving that marks the start of the holiday shopping season. Meanwhile, thousands of shoppers poured into the West End this weekend as Oxford Street and Regent Street closed its roads to traffic for Christmas shopping, with retailers taking over £100m on Saturday alone.