The festive retail figures are continuing to reflect the growing trend towards buying online which is having an impact on many stores in shopping centres and on traditional High Streets.
Next has reported a sharp increase in online sales over Christmas while trading in its stores declined.
The retailer is traditionally seen as a good indicator of the general health of the High Street.
Click to watch a report from Chelmsford by ITV News correspondent Kevin Ashford
A man in his 20s is in a critical condition after he was found on fire outside a homeless hostel in Peterborough.
He was discovered with severe injuries outside the YMCA in Wellington Street just after 8am on Thursday.
Police say they don't yet know the full circumstances - but they don't think anyone else was involved. The man, from Norfolk, has been airlifted to a specialist burns unit in Chelmsford.
Letters in the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford offer insight into life as a First World War nurse on the frontline.Read the full story ›
The Army and Navy flyover in Chelmsford has reopened this morning after weeks of repair work.Read the full story ›
The Army and Navy flyover in Chelmsford is due to reopen in time for Monday morning's rush hour.Read the full story ›
The report says £15,000 of contraband - including drugs, phones and packages thrown over the prison wall - was found in just a month.Read the full story ›
The flyover had to be closed last week over safety fears - and now a task force is being set up to decide its future.Read the full story ›
A 15-year-old boy has been charged with the murder of a man in Chelmsford.Read the full story ›
Police have arrested two people on suspicion of drugs possession at the RiZE music festival in Chelmsford.
Two men aged 22 and 21 from London were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply.
They're now being questioned by officers after they were detained by site security at Hylands Park.
Police say they're working with the festival organisers to detect any drug activity.
Raja Balal Hussain admitted seven food safety charges - his 'Perfect Fried Chicken' takeaway has now closed down.Read the full story ›