The latest figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) show that online sales only just stopped retail performance from failing to match 2011 levels in December.
Like-for-like sales during the month were up a paltry 0.3% compared to December 2011 and even then, if online non-food sales hadn’t increased by nearly 18%, total sales would have actually fallen. Stripping out inflation, December sales did fall and were the worst since the recession began in 2008.
BRC director general Helen Dickinson said, “It seems that much of the growth is now coming from online orders, while shop sales are stagnant at best." She added that there was no expectation that things would improve in 2013.
The picture isn’t entirely bleak with department stores bucking the trend; Debenhams, John Lewis and House of Fraser all reported record sales in December
Jessops is the first casualty of 2013 and analysts are predicting a slew of high street closures to match those seen throughout 2012 with the March quarter day for rent payments being a flash point.
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