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.

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Christmas boost to online sales

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