Christmas retail sales are expected to rise by €2.4 billion (0.8%) in Europe in 2010 compared with last year. Despite offline sales forecast to decrease by 1.4% on average when compared with 2009, online sales are predicted to increase by an incredible 25%.

The research commissioned by Kelkoo, the online comparison site, expects Christmas sales to exceed €313 billion across Europe in 2010, of which  more than €32 billion (10.3%) is predicted to be spent using online retailers, an increase of 10 cents for every euro spent compared with seven cents per euro in 2008.

Although offline sales are expected to decline by 1.4% this Christmas from €284.9bn last year to €280.9bn in 2010, online sales are predicted to increase by 51.4% since 2008.

The Centre for Retail Research, who prepared the research for Kelkoo predicted that the UK would be the highest spending country in Europe (€77.2bn) , followed by Germany (€64.5bn) and France (€62.5bn) accounting for almost two thirds (65%) of all retail spending this Christmas.

Christmas classically accounts for as much as one quarter of annual retail sales in Europe, and 2010 is no exception with sales expecting to make a significant contribution to aiding the sectors recovery as it looks to strengthen its economic standing in 2011.

Despite positive indicators in early 2010, growth prospects for most countries have declined since June 2010, with inflation increasing, coupled with a fall in consumer confidence.  In addition there is evidence that consumer spending is being curbed, one of a number of factors expected to impact on European retail sales, particularly during the Holiday season.

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit www.locayta.com