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Online shoppers who take advantage of free returns by over-ordering are placing increasing pressure on UK retailers, a survey has found.Read the full story ›
Online deliveries are expected to grow to 1.35bn over the next four years, research from a high street bank has shown.
Barclay's bank found more and more people were relying on online services to buy consumer goods, and found:
- Electricals are forecast to be the highest growth sector for deliveries, with the number of packages expected to increase by 61% over the next four years.
- Nearly 30% of retailers would use Click & Collect as their preferred delivery option although less than 20% of consumers have used this service in the past year.
- Whilst the majority of retailers believe online shopping and delivery have benefited their sales numbers, over 30% believe it has been detrimental to costs.
- Letterbox-sized packages and small parcels made up 60% of all deliveries from online orders in 2013 and letterbox-sized packages are set to see the highest growth by 2018, growing by 45%.
- East Anglia is to see the biggest growth in deliveries, while the South East is set to remain as the region with the highest number. Regions where people live closer to towns and cities will see slightly lower growth.
Demand for online shopping is expected to rise by more than a quarter, figures from Barclays have shown.
Online deliveries are expected to rise by 29% by 2018, with clothing and footwear the most popular items.
More and more people are expected to have their weekly shop delivered, with groceries set to overtake books as the third most delivered item.
East Anglia is to see the biggest growth in deliveries, while the South East is set to remain as the region with the highest number.
Regions where people live closer to towns and cities will see slightly lower growth.
Online retailer Amazon has announced a new partnership that will allow customers to shop via Twitter.
With the new system users add the hashtag #AmazonBasket to tweets referencing products they like, then the item is automatically added to their online shopping cart.
Amazon said the tie-up would mean "no more switching apps, typing out passwords or trying to remember items you saw on Twitter".
The thinning out of the Christmas high street rush has been blamed on the rise in online sales, with footfall - the number of people who walk into a shop - down by 3.7% compared to the same time in 2012.
According to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the drop in footfall in the last quarter of last year was the worst drop since August 2012.
Overall footfall recorded by the BRC/Springboard monitor was down 2.4% in December compared with the previous year.
High streets suffered more than out-of-town locations, which lost 0.6% of their walk-in business.
Mark Prisk, the housing and local government minister, told the Daily Telegraph shop owners must do more if they are to win back customers who have turned to the internet.
The warning comes as the Department of Communities and Local Government today awarded seven towns a share of £1 million in return for successfully breathing new life into their high streets.
Mr Prisk said the Government is doing "all it could" to help shops survive, including reducing business rates and encouraging local councils to be more flexible with parking.
"We will keep providing support where it is needed, but it takes more than funding to make this work," he told the Daily Telegraph.
"As consumers, our behaviour has changed. High streets need to respond to that change if they are to prosper."