London, Dec 23 (ANI): Rather than attending a church service, this year's Christmas Day will see more number of British people logging on to the Internet for some online shopping.
Online retail trade group IMRG has predicted that about 4.8 million people would find time on Christmas Day to go online, get out their credit card, and buy a product, reports the Telegraph.
This is a 9 percent increase on last year and compares with an estimated 4.5 million people who attend an Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, Baptist or Pentecostal church service on Christmas Day.
IMRG said that 153million pounds were estimated to be spent online on Christmas Day itself, with a further 300 million pounds spent on Boxing Day.
The boom comes as hundreds of thousands of so-called tablet computers such as the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy will be given as gifts, pushing demand for downloads to record heights.
"If you've been given an iPad, the first thing you are going to do is fire it up and download some apps. I am not sure there is anymore a stigma attached to surfing on the web when you are with family and friends," said Kat Hannaford, contributing editor at the gadget website Gizmodo.
While online shoppers will outnumber churchgoers for the first time this year, it will be some time before they overtake another traditional activity - watching the Queen's Christmas Message.
Last year the programme attracted 9 million viewers across both the BBC and ITV. (ANI)