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Shop Direct reveals Christmas sales leap

Home shopping group Shop Direct’s sales jumped 9% over Christmas but it expects sales to deteriorate in 2012.

Group chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said the sales rise for the six weeks to December 31 was not representative of trading as a whole last year. For its half year to December 31, sales edged up 2%.

Newton-Jones said: With the festive season now behind us, we believe the retail outlook for 2012 will remain subdued. Indeed, we expect it to deteriorate further as consumers continue to tighten their belts. We are forecasting lower overall sales.”

Shop Direct, which operates brands including Littlewoods and Very, said online sales jumped 20% over the Christmas period, accounting for 74% of all revenue and mobile commerce accounted for 11% of online sales.

Newton-Jones said: “This Christmas was all about online sales. Customers chose to shop at a time and place to suit them and increasingly used tablets and smartphones to browse and complete their orders.”

The home shopping giant said its Christmas trading was supported by strong margin growth and it took less stock into Sale than last year.

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