Retailers add cheer to gloomy high st

DEPARTMENT store John Lewis has offered some hope to the ongoing high street gloom by revealing record sales last week as the Christmas shopping season gained momentum.

Sales rose by two per cent to £123.5 in the week to December 10, rising 12.5 per cent on a two-year basis as customers snapped up winter clothes and gift items such as iPads and toys.

Meanwhile, the New West End Company, which represents 600 traders in Oxford street, Regent street and Bond street said retailers reported their strongest trading week of the year, with shoppers spending £180m on Saturday alone.

A further 600,000 shoppers are anticipated to have spent £100m yesterday–up £50m on normal weekends.

Capital Shopping Centres, the owner of Manchester’s Trafford mall added to the good news, saying “a shift in consumer behaviour” in the run-up to Christmas led to over 8m shoppers visiting its 14 centres last week.

Amazon also reported record orders for over three million items on Cyber Monday last week.