High Street retailers push ahead

Internet divisions of traditional retailers see greater traffic than online-only counterparts
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High Street retailers are pulling ahead of their online-only counterparts when it comes to shopping in the UK, according to research by Hitwise.

The report has found that the 100 largest online High Street retailers received 19.3 per cent more internet visits during July 2008 than the top 100 online-only retailers.

The trend has seen High Street retail websites boost UK traffic by 18.7 per cent with the best performers being Argos, Tesco and Next. The High Street retailers now account for one in every five visits to an online shopping website. Meanwhile online-only traffic has dropped by 10.2 per cent.

“High street retailers overtook their online-only counterparts for the first time during December 2006, but fell quickly behind again for most of 2007,” said Robin Goad, research director at Hitwise. “However, when the high street overtook again last Christmas, the gap was even than before and during 2008 the online-only retailers only managed to edge ahead again during February. Given the 2.6 per cent decline in actual physical visits to retailers reported for July, it looks like high street retailers will be more reliant than ever on their online operations this Christmas.”

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