Is online shopping set to be the new norm this Christmas?

Christmas shopping is set to be very different this year, with Covid-19 restrictions in Greater Manchester making the usual holiday rush much busier.

As a result, there has been a surge in online shopping with most people using the internet rather than braving the stores in person.

Niamh Mc Dermott, 18, is a student at the University of Salford and has found it harder to shop for her friends and family this year, with fears about items not arriving in time for Christmas.

She said: “Every year I have my Christmas shopping done in summer. I know that sounds crazy but I get it done in summer sales, getting it out of the way making it both easier to budget and less of a stress.

“This year, we never got to do that, so now once December hits I’m going to have to rush and try to get all my Christmas shopping.

“I was ordering a phone case on Amazon that was supposed to arrive last week, but then it got delayed by two days and then another two days. Things like that are worrying as everybody is panicking right now which is going to lead to delays, with the worry that stuff won’t arrive in time for Christmas.”

For small businesses, however, lockdown has been a blessing in disguise with many people discovering online stores like Etsy for their shopping needs.

Naomi Okezie, 19, runs Angel Marketplace, a clothing brand which is sold on sights such as ASOS and Depop, she has seen a rise in sales since going into lockdown.

She said: “When lockdown first happened, I got in my first set of stock just to see how things were, with it selling out within two weeks.”

Before the first lockdown ended, Naomi’s business saw a good volume of sales with 40 items sold in one month alone.

However, once everything started to reopen, she saw a massive sales drop, with people preferring to shop on the high street.

Naomi added: “Now that lockdown has happened again people are back shopping online, with one of my friends making around £1600 this year through online sales alone.”

For young children, this Christmas is sure to be very different from last year with the worry that Santa may not be able to deliver presents this year.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson has shared a letter on social media reassuring everyone that Father Christmas will be packing his sleigh and delivering presents this Christmas.

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