Morrisons boss: 'Wish we'd launched online service sooner'

Morrisons has belatedly become the last major supermarket to provide online deliveries, as its boss admitted he wished they had started providing the service far earlier. New data appeared to show a record number did their Christmas shopping online.

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Morrisons boss' surprise at online delivery popularity

The chief executive of Morrisons has told ITV News' Business Editor Laura Kuenssberg of his surprise at the popularity of online deliveries - and admits his regret over not launching the service earlier:

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Dalton Phillips tells me he's surprised by how shoppers have gone digital 'I wish we'd started earlier' as he launches Morrisons online

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Phillips admits they re being hit by discounters, not just move online and says customers more skint than this time last year

Watch the Morrisons chief executive make the supermarket's first online delivery

Breakdown of online non-food Christmas sales

Figures from the British Retail Consortium show how online sales in different types of goods fared:

  • Online clothing sales accounted for 21.2% of sales in December - an increase of 3% from last year.
  • Furniture and flooring products bought online represented nearly a third of all sales.
  • Electrical goods and toys came in at 14.4%, a fall from November's 15.5%.

The drop in electrical goods sales was attributed to consumers searching early on the web for in-demand Christmas products to get hold of them before they went out of stock.

Read more: Online sales 'main driver for growth' in UK retail

Online sales 'main driver for growth' in UK retail

Online sales have become the "main driver for growth" in British retail, after Christmas sales figures showed how popular an option shopping on the internet has become.

David McCorquodale, head of retail at KMPG which is behind the figures, explained:

Whilst store sales continue to flatline, online sales remain the main driver of growth for the sector, contributing nearly three quarters of the uptick in non-food sales in the last quarter of 2013.

The winners this Christmas were those retailers with slick multichannel operations, who could offer consumers the flexibility to shop how, and when, they wanted to.

– David McCorquodale, KPMG

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'One in five' non-food items bought online at Christmas

"One in five" non-food items bought this Christmas were purchased online, in what turned out to be a bumper year for festive internet sales, new figures have revealed.

Read more: Prices slashed at fastest rate for seven years over Christmas

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More people than ever bought Christmas presents online this year, the BRC said. Credit: PA

Data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) showed online trade represented 18.6% of total non-food sales in December, up from 16.5% the year before.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: "More of us clicked into Christmas than ever before, with online non-food sales growth putting in its best performance since March 2010 and accounting for nearly 20% of spending.

"The surge in the use of tablets and smartphones last year, together with the ever-faster delivery times achieved by an increasing number of retailers, has provided a new spur of growth to online shopping."

Read more: Supermarkets report sales falls in run up to Christmas