Bad Christmas for retailers as sales stay flat

 
Tim Wallace
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BRITISH retailers failed to see a Christmas boom, with sales only edging up on the year and failing to beat inflation, according to industry data out today.

Total sales rose just 1.5 per cent compared with December 2011, according to the British Retail Consortium. That compares with the latest inflation data showing prices rose by 2.7 per cent in the 12 months to November.

“Against the relentlessly tough economic backdrop and low expectations, these results are not a cause for celebration,” said the BRC’s director general Helen Dickinson.

But online sales continued to soar, rising 17.8 per cent, only slightly slower than the 18.5 per cent rise in the previous year.

They now make up just over 10 per cent of all retail sales.