Sussex businesses take advantage of online shopping boom

The Argus: Sussex businesses take advantage of online shopping boom Sussex businesses take advantage of online shopping boom

Yesterday's online Christmas shopping boom, Cyber Monday, was good news for Brighton businesses.

Royal Mail said yesterday that Brighton and Hove was the third biggest buyer of Christmas presents online, based on an analysis of deliveries over the festive period.

But far from being bad for Sussex trade, local businesses have been embracing the internet age. 

New research reveals one third of UK small and medium online retailers have invested in apps and other IT upgrades for this festive season.

One of those is Sussex luxury chocolate firm Montezuma’s, which has shops in Brighton, Horsham and Chichester.

Demelza Wallace, who is head of online sales, said their web business is “booming”. She said: “We’ve been doing online sales from the outset but it has only really taken off in the last couple of years.

“Last year sales were up 22% and we expect the same this year.

“We are sending some 200 packages of chocolate each day all over the country. It is only going to get busier in the run-up to Christmas.”

Mark Allan, who is manager of This Is Not A Butchers gift shop in Bond Street, Brighton has also seen online sales rise.

He said: “I don’t really have a website, but we have been selling through eBay and Amazon.

“We do well through the internet but I still think we do the majority of business through the shop. So far this year it has been fantastic. We are certainly up on last year.”

Shoppers in Churchill Square Shopping Centre at the weekend agreed.

Paul Lewis, of Ditchling Road, Brighton, said: “Small retailers and specialist shops offering something special offer more than the major retailers on the high street.”

Brighton and Hove city councillor Emma Daniel added: “I love the variety here and the small businesses are brilliant for something unusual.”

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