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The first Noel… for a £1billion splurge

IT SEEMS the turkey, the Queen’s message and a late afternoon snooze are no longer enough.

December 25 will see the first ever £1billion Christmas Day for shopping as 11million of us forsake the traditional distractions to shop online.

Web spending by bargain hunters will hit a record of £895million — up 11 per cent on last year — as December 24 kick-starts the sales.

Christmas Day online spending will peak at 10am as cash gifts and vouchers are opened, and 6pm before big evening TV shows, analysts said.

Consumer electronics will be popular purchases, with Amazon expecting movie and music downloads to be big sellers.

Meanwhile in-store spending on the 25th is set to pass £105million as 1.5million shoppers spend at a record number of convenience shops and garages opening on the day, said a Centre for Retail Research study for VoucherCodes based on interviews with 80 major UK retailers and 1,000 shoppers.

Centre director Prof Joshua Bamfield, said: ‘It looks like the first ever £1billion Christmas Day.

‘Shoppers want the bargains retailers make available when post-Christmas sales start as early as Christmas Eve. Many people will have received money or vouchers to spend.’

Mintel director of retail research Richard Perks said: ‘A lot of money will be spent by a lot of people on Christmas Day.’