David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said the January sales figures gave retailers reasons to be cheerful and were a strong start to what is anticipated to be a tough year.
"While technology advances may have hastened the demise of HMV, Blockbuster and Jessops, many retailers will look back at the last two months with pride after implementing successful seasonal campaigns where they have served the customer well."
But he warned that sales were only one side of the equation and only time would tell about the true cost of promotions and margin squeezes used to drive sales.
More top news
Drinking three to five cups of coffee a day could reduce the risk of clogged arteries and thus heart attacks, a study has found.
There are five million British expats across the globe. Many have a vested interest in May's election and many still have the right to vote.
Abba's Bjorn Ulvaeus has a boyish enthusiasm for the cashless society - and he has a challenge for ITV News viewers.