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High street retail sales slow as online soars

Retail sales slowed down in the run up to Christmas while online sales reached a record high, according to figures published today.

Total sales volume decreased by 0.4% between November and December, with sales volume for predominantly non-food stores decreasing by 0.9%, according to the Office for National Statistics. Sales volume for non-specialised stores, including department stores, fell by 4.3%, the largest decrease for the sector since February 1994.

Total sales volume in the three months to December was 3.6 per cent higher than the same period a year ago – the slowest growth for more than a year.

Sales volumes for textile, clothing and footwear stores was 1% higher than the same period a year ago, the smallest growth for the sector since February 1999.

However, in the 12 weeks to Christmas, online sales soared to £15.2 billion, bringing the full-year UK figure to £46.6bn, up 54% on 2006, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

December's online sales were almost 50% up on the previous year, with four million people shopping on Christmas day and spending approximately £84 million. Clothing sales were up 28% in December.

Readers' comments (2)

  • yes, but do theses massive sales figures take into account the massive returns & refunds the online boys have to deal with???? I wonder???

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  • I heard from a sound source it's around 40%.
    Am I the only person left who prefers real life to cyber space?

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