Over three million people will do their Christmas shopping entirely online this year without once visiting an actual shop, a poll has found.
Overcrowding and long queues in shops are forcing people away from the high street as the hassle of Christmas shopping becomes too much.
The number of people turning their backs on the high street is almost one million higher than it was last year, according to the poll by YouGov.
Last Christmas 2.4 million shoppers did not do any of their shopping in actual shops. The figure this year is predicted to be around 3.4 million, equivalent to around 7 percent of the adult population.
Over a third of people said that the main turn-off about shopping on the high street is over-crowding. Meanwhile almost a quarter said that long queues at the check-out are the worst thing about it.
Of the 2,065 people polled, even those who are still taking to the shops plan to spend less time in them this Christmas.
Around 31 percent of shoppers who plan to spend at least some time on the high street will spend less than half of their shopping time in actual shops, using the rest of the time to shop remotely via the internet. This compares to 28 percent of people last year. Meanwhile the proportion of people spending over half of their shopping time in high street shops has dropped from 41 percent last year to 39 percent this year.
Just two percent of people said that they are looking forward to dealing with store staff this festive season.
Guy Boxall, senior product marketing manager at Casio Business Solutions Division, which commissioned the research from YouGov, said that despite the fall in people visiting the high street, humans are “social creatures” who actually like spending time together.
“Although the high street is facing a big challenge Christmas, retailers should see this research as a challenge to improve the in-store shopping experience, rather than the nail in the coffin. We are social creatures, and the desire to spend time with each other, particularly at Christmas, is never going to go away,” said Mr Boxall.
The poll found that people’s favourite aspects of Christmas shopping on the high street are being able to “wander around” looking for inspiration and being able to see and touch products. People were also keen on being able to carry products home, which is not possible when they order online.
（中国日报网英语点津 实习生王宾雷 编辑：陈丹妮）