By Claire West

As Britain shudders to a halt under a picturesque blanket of snow, businesses across the Country are closing their doors with employees thwarted by the UK's creaking travel infrastructure.

However one section of the new-age economy is counting its blessings as home bound Britons turn to the Internet for entertainment and Christmas shopping.

Following on from a bumper October during which e-retail sales grew 23% year-on-year and a total UK spend an estimated £5.2 billion (source IMRG), online retailers are set to enjoy their busiest Christmas shopping season yet.

Specialist online martial arts retailer Paragon Martial Arts are one of thousands of UK retailers benefiting from this dynamic refocusing of the UK retail scene.

David Geran, Managing Director of Paragon Martial Arts commented "We have seen a significant increase in order volumes since the end of the summer holidays. Even taking into account generic growth, our month on month order numbers are up around 20% compared to the same time last year. We are seeing British consumers becoming savvier about their online purchasing choices, with price, quality and guarantees of service all major priorities."

Pauline from Primrose Aromatherapy added "I think as people become more comfortable with the idea of shopping from home, having time off work due to the weather becomes an opportunity to take a look online and get some early Christmas shopping done."

As the snow continues to expose the weakness in our national transport infrastructure, it also highlights the increasing importance of the Internet to our economy.

If online retail is the barometer of Internet potential, perhaps in 2011 we will finally see big business attitude to remote working thaw, returning Winter snow fall to childhood excitement and not a blight to the British economy.