Travel sites flood top 50 retail survey

Expedia.co.uk has climbed to become the third most visited retail website in the UK in the last three months, with only Amazon and Argos ahead in the latest survey of leading sites.


The online travel agent jumped four places in the last quarter between May and July 2006 on the previous three months, indicating a surge in interest by consumers in late holiday deals.


Other travel websites in a list of 50 complied by research firms Hitwise and IMRG include EasyJet, Thomson and Lastminute.com in the top ten.


Hitwise vice president of research, Heather Hopkins, said: “Recent data from Hitwise indicates that Argos exceeded expectations by increasing its share of visits by 19% since April.


“Also of note is the prominence of travel retailers in the latest list, accounting for more than half of July’s climbers.


Ryanair, BA.com, Thomas Cook, MyTravel and First Choice all featured in the top 20.


Other sites featured include BMI Baby, Thomsonfly, FlyBe, Jet2, Monarch, BMI and Opodo made up the remaining travel sites.


IMRG chief executive James Roper said: “The most surprising thing about the Hot Shops List is the brands missing from it.


“Location, location, location was the traditional retail mantra, but with the internet removing location from the retail equation, popularity, as indicated by website visits, is becoming the key performance indicator.


“It is clear that many retailers who dominate the high street are just not attracting their share of virtual footfall; only time will tell what the ramifications of their deficit will be.”

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