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Clothing and footwear sales rise in December

Clothing and footwear sales rose by 4.8% by value and 3.4% by volume in December compared with the same month last year.

The performance helped to drive overall retail sales which rose 2% by value, while volume sales remained static during the month according to data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS)

Barry Knight, head of retail at Grant Thornton UK, said: “The cold benefited outdoor clothing retailers such as Blacks, who saw an increase in like-for-like sales in December as consumers purchased warm jackets. Their high street presence captured those unable or unwilling to get in their cars.”

He added that the ability to “one stop shop” helped supermarkets and department stores and highlighted House of Fraser and Sainsbury’s for their non-food sales.

The data from the ONS also showed that non-store retailing continued to grow, with both value and volume sales up 14.5% on the same month last year.

Richard Lowe, head of retail and wholesale at Barclays Corporate, said: “Consumers are increasingly using the internet to research their purchases and only visiting shops once they know what they want. The bad weather played into this, keeping shoppers indoors until the snow cleared. I’d expect to see this very directional shopping behaviour continue in 2011 as rising petrol prices force consumers to think twice about making non-essential trips to browse around the shops – and increasing consumer demand for click and collect and home delivery services”. 

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