VAT reductions on Monday failed to drive bigger sales or traffic for retailers online.

According to the IMRG, although it recorded the UK’s largest shopping volumes to date on Monday, the anticipated spike from VAT cuts did not materialise and sales values and traffic remained flat.

IMRG chief executive James Roper said: “Monday is almost always the biggest shopping day of the week and Monday’s in December are usually huge. It was widely assumed that yesterday’s fall in VAT, from 17.5 per cent to 15 per cent, would create a considerable shopping surge, due to pent up demand caused by shoppers waiting for the lower rate. But it just didn’t happen. Many of the smart e-retailers had already passed on the lower rate as soon as it was announced.”

The IMRG said that retail patterns are changing and expects next Monday, December 8, to be even bigger as consumers leave it later and later to make Christmas purchases.