An online shopping service which could prevent a Christmas Eve rush to the high street was announced yesterday.
Amazon.co.uk says it will deliver goods ordered before 8.30am on December 24 that same day.
But only eleventh-hour festive shoppers in the London and Birmingham areas will have access to the service.
The online retailer expects the DVD of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to be its top-selling Christmas gift.
Jamie Oliver’s latest book called Jamie at Home comes in second place while the Spice Girls’ Greatest Hits CD is expected to come in third.
Other items in Amazon’s predicted top ten are the Nintendo Wii, the Apple iPod Touch and the Pirates of the Caribbean 3 DVD.
The online retailer will guarantee Christmas Eve delivery of eligible items for customers in the London and Birmingham areas for a charge of £14.99 per delivery, and orders must be placed before 8.30am.
Amazon.co.uk’s last order date for first class delivery is Wednesday December 19.
The announcement comes as the UK’s e-retailer industry body the IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) today predicted a 42% upturn in online spending this Christmas compared to last year.
Shoppers in the UK will spend an estimated £13.9 billion online this Christmas, according to a report released last month by Forrester Research.
Amazon’s top ten
Amazon.co.uk’s top ten Christmas gift predictions – based on its tracking of search items, pre-orders and buying patterns – are:
1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix DVD
2. Jamie at Home – Jamie Oliver Book
3. Greatest Hits – The Spice Girls’ CD
4. Nintendo Wii console
5. Apple iPod Touch 16Gb
6. PlayStation 3 console
7. Radio Control Picoo Z Helicopter
8. Philips Nivea Moisturising Rotary Shaving System
9. Grip Trainer – Powerball 250hz Pro Blue
10. Pirates of the Caribbean 3 DVD