Christmas boost to online sales

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) released figures showing an 18% jump in internet sales this Christmas.

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Domino's enjoys festive feast of internet orders

Domino's pizza
Domino's opened its first UK store in Luton in 1985. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Archive

The rise in online shoppers over Christmas was also enjoyed in the fast food sector, with pizza delivery firm Domino's recording a sharp rise in festive figures.

Web sales in the UK and Ireland rose 56.6% to £84.1 million in the 14 weeks to December 30, including £2 million of sales in a single day for the first time.

In line with the trend seen in the retail sector, Domino's said a fifth of online business now came from customers using mobile devices, up from 10% a year ago.

E-commerce now accounts for 55.7% of deliveries in the UK, against 44.3% in 2011.

Record sales in December for Debenhams

Debenhams had its best ever December performance, the department store has announced.

Like-for-like sales in the five weeks to January 5 rose 5%, helping comparable sales in the first 18 weeks of its financial year lift 2.9%.

A general view of a Debenhams Store in Belfast city centre
Debenhams had record sales in December Credit: Paul Faith/PA

The group, which has 155 UK stores and 73 overseas outlets, cut prices by up to 50% in one-day promotions on some products in what chief executive Michael Sharp said was the most competitive Christmas in his 37-year career in retail.

He said shoppers were more "canny" and left shopping until much later this year in the hope of picking up bargains ahead of Christmas as well as during the traditional sale period.

Twenty percent of online sales go to mobile

Sales figures in the run up to Christmas have spelt more bad news for our High Streets.

According to the British Retail Consortium sales went up by just 1 and a half percent.

Sarah Golden from the British Independent Retailers Association told ITV Daybreak that the biggest story of 2013 is mobile, with 20% of those online sales are going to mobile.

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January set to be 'tough month for retailers'

David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said:

January will be a tough month for retailers as consumers face up to their credit card bills after Christmas, and it's likely 2013 will bring more of the same challenges.

There will be no boom and it is likely more than a few will go bust.

– David McCorquodale. KPMG

Smartphones and tablets boosting online Christmas sales

John Lewis, House of Fraser and Next - the first to provide Christmas trading updates - have all reported a surge in online sales. Credit: PA

Helen Dickinson, the new director general of the BRC, said the "stand-out" online performance came after slower momentum in the previous few months.

She said: "Many valued the ease and convenience of shopping online during the Christmas period. The surging popularity of tablets and smartphones giving even better access is a major factor."

She also said shoppers felt much more comfortable putting their credit card details into their mobile phones.

Internet sales jump 18% in December

Amazon's huge dispatch centre in Swansea was busy this Christmas. Credit: PA

More signs that shoppers are shunning the high street emerged today with figures showing an 18% jump in internet sales this Christmas.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said online sales grew at the fastest rate for a year in crucial December trading, as shoppers with smartphones and tablets benefited from more sophisticated websites and click and collect services.

Despite the cyber boost, it was still an "underwhelming" month for retailers, with overall like-for-like sales edging up just 0.3%, according to the closely watched survey from the BRC and KPMG.