Strong online performance last December

The British Retail Consortium has reported that strong growth in online shopping stopped retail sales falling in December 2012. In the month sales were up 1.5% compared with a year earlier. Like-for-like sales rose 0.3%. This narrow gap between total sales and like-for-like sales demonstrates the small number of new store openings in 2012. Online sales still only account for just over 10% of total retail sales.

Department stores also did well, particularly John Lewis which saw a rise in sales of electricals after the demise of Comet (not a sign that the market is growing but that sales are being reallocated).

Official figures for retail sales in December will be released on 18th January.