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Online sales boosted by almost a third at Christmas: early figures

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Online sales rose by almost a third over Christmas, according to new figures. Today’s BDO High Street Sales Tracker shows non-store sales rose by 31.1% in the five weeks to December 29 compared to the same period last year, with online non-fashion sales up by 52.5%, and fashion sales up by 24.1%.

But offline, stormy Christmas weather discouraged shoppers from hitting the high streets and sales fell, pulling total sales in the month down by 2.2% on the same time last year. “Many retailers reported weakened footfall negatively impacting their ability to trade during the month,” said the BDO commentary. “Poor weather made the high street an unattractive place to spend time during the festive month and as a result bricks and mortar sites suffered.”

It said that end of season sales had fallen later than in previous years, with most deep discounting held until Boxing Day. “Pent-up demand was expected to play a larger role as we moved closer to Christmas Day,” said the commentary, “but in reality it never fully took hold.”

The one blip to the trend of high online sales and low high street sales came in the homewares sector: homewares sales fell by 5.3% online but grew by 8.1% on the high street.

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