GfK research indicates internet retailers benefited this winter at expense of the High Street

Snow leads one in four shoppers online

More than one in four shoppers (27 per cent) made a purchase intended for the High Street online instead due to the treacherous weather this winter, according to research from GfK NOP.

The report found that half stayed away from shops during ‘the big freeze’, as reported by The Retail Bulletin. The survey said that more than one in five shoppers that had planned to shop in early January had now decided not to make their purchase.

It wasn’t all bad news for the High Street however, with 39 per cent of the shoppers surveyed saying the weather had only deferred their purchase of non-essential items.

Halfords has already revealed that its Christmas Day online sales were its most successful ever, while research from the ACT/ActSmart also indicated a slowing of sales overf the period for the bike trade.

Ivan Browne, a Director at GfK NOP, comments: “The weather conditions during the first two weeks of 2010 have undoubtedly had a significant effect on the fortunes of the High Street during the crucial January sales period, and while we predict a possible late surge due to the amount of shoppers deferring purchases, it’s clear that the Big Freeze has dampened the spirits of many who were planning to buy.

"On the upside, the quarter of shoppers switching from the High Street to the internet is a sign of the times and great news for online retailers.”

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