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More trading figures: The good news continues for online

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Sales at Shop Direct Group, owner of Littlewoods Direct, Kays and other traditional catalogue brands, says online sales rose 44% in the six weeks to January 2 and now account for 56% of the group’s total sales. “We are pleased with our trading performance during the Christmas period and particularly with the continued growth of our online business as this becomes the shopping channel of choice for many of our new and existing customers,” says chief executive Mark Newton-Jones.

“We believe the retail outlook in 2009 will be difficult. However, we will continue to invest in and improve our broad range of products, our online platform and our customer service, whilst continuing to offer our customers flexible payments terms,” he added.

M and M Direct says online orders were up 57% during the ten weeks to January 4 and sales were up 31%. “The business did extremely well over the Christmas period against a strong comparative,” said M and M Direct chief executive Steve Robinson. “Customers in these difficult times are embracing the internet and wanting great value products.”

“Looking forward to 2009 we believe we are well positioned in a challenging market to offer our customers a continuing great range of products at great prices,” he added. “It will be those retailers that manage to deliver value for money that will continue to grow.”

For the seven weeks to 10 January, Tesco has reporting overall growth of only 2.5%. Online revenues at both and Tesco Direct saw stronger growth but still significantly below the 30% industry average the BRC has reported. “On-line sales were very strong in the run-up to Christmas and and Tesco Direct combined saw total sales up by over 18% to £273 million in the seven weeks,” says Tesco. “Sales of digital products, including televisions and laptops, were particularly pleasing.”

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