High street shoppers 'taxed' for not buying online

Shoppers are being hit by a "high street tax", paying up to 70 per cent more for goods bought in store rather than online, according new research.

The study, from shopping comparison website PriceRunner, suggested shoppers are paying hundreds of pounds more for the privilege of shopping in store.

The average cost of a basket of 10 goods from the high street - including a camera, an ipod and a television - reached £2,252, compared to £1,785 for the best prices on the same products online.

PriceRunner said the study indicates 95 per cent of all prices could be beaten online.

Marc Thomas, manager at PriceRunner.co.uk, said: "Consumers are paying the price for shopping on the high street. It's high street robbery. The evidence is clear - it is cheaper to make your eventual purchase online and have the product delivered to your home."

He added: "Consumers needn't be ripped off and neither do they need to travel great distances to find the cheapest product. A quick online comparison before parting with your cash may be able to save you money and get the product delivered to your door."

The typical mark-up on the best online price is 31.79 per cent, according to Pricerunner, which described it as a "high street" tax.

Its research revealed a 71 per cent difference between the average price of a pair of Nike Air Zoom Trainers bought on the high street for £85.79 and and the best price online at £49.98.

And there were a 58.66 per cent difference between the average price of a DKNY Ladies Watch bought on the high street for £68.21 and the best online price at 42.99.

Richard Dodd, of The British Retail Consortium, said: "Prices vary hugely between outlets and from week to week because of the enormous number of discounts and promotions on offer.

"Retailers are well aware that people shop around but customers compare products on value, which is more than just price. It includes factors such as service, speed and convenience."

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