Online shoppers give high street the cold shoulder
THOUSANDS of shoppers avoided the snow and parking troubles yesterday, choosing to search virtual shelves for their Christmas gifts from the comfort of their own homes.
Online spending was expected to reach an all-time high yesterday on 'Super Sunday', with eBay.ie predicting it would be the busiest day of the year for the website.
Spokeswoman Ruth Szyszkowski estimated that 100,000 bargain hunters would log on to the eBay website, buying one gift every 20 seconds, a 33pc rise on sales last year.
Among them was Katie Tsouros (24), from Donnybrook, Co Dublin, who admitted she is hooked on internet shopping.
"I am shopping online more and more. The value and the selection is great and so is the service," she said.
Ms Tsouros, who opened her KT Contemporary art gallery in Donnybrook three weeks ago, said she spends about 50pc less than she would if she took her business to the high street.
In the past few months, she has bought clothes, electronic goods, books and her laptop online, many of them through eBay.
She saved a fortune on Prada biker boots and got an Edun coat -- the fashion line produced by U2's Bono and his wife Ali Hewson -- for €150 which she said would have cost €450 in the shops.
"I'm quite busy at the moment so it means I can log on in the evenings after the shops are closed," Ms Tsouros said.
About 54pc of Irish consumers are expected to do some or all of their Christmas shopping online this year, according to Ms Szyszkowski.
"The strongest sales have been seen this year in the categories of clothing, computers and consumer electronics, as the biggest savings can be made here.
"Christmas doesn't need to be compromised and shoppers are keen to take the hassle out of Christmas by buying online for great value deals delivered to their door, in plenty of time to get under the tree," she said.