The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported that retail sales rose 0.9% in the month of January compared with December’s 0.6% increase. The figure was much stronger than forecast as many economists had expected sales volumes to fall.
Kate Davies, head of UK retail at the ONS, said, "The most prominent driver behind this growth comes from the non-store retailing sector [mail order and internet] but also from food stores and clothing stores."
The figures from the ONS showed that internet sales now account for about 12% of total retail sales, up from 9% a year ago.
According to a report for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) compiled by the Local Data Company, on average Britain's multiple retailers closed 14 stores a day in 2011.
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