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Record growth for online sales

Internet sales of non-food goods grew by 19.2 per cent in December 2013 when compared with December 2012, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The BRC's Retail Sales Monitor for December found that 18.6 per cent of non-food products were bought online last month. Online sales growth for December was the strongest in 2013 and is the best performance for more than three years.

Other findings include:

  • The online share of total sales for December was 2.1 per cent higher than in December 2012, when it was 16.5 per cent
  • Online sales contributed 2.4 percentage points to the growth of total non-food sales
  • Online non-food sales accounted for nearly three quarters of the total non-food growth in the final quarter of 2013.

In contrast to the strong performance from internet sales, total UK retail sales increased by just 0.4 per cent December 2013 when compared like-for-like with December 2012.

Helen Dickinson, director-general of the BRC, said:

"As expected, more of us clicked into Christmas than ever before, with online non-food sales growth putting in its best performance since March 2010 and accounting for nearly 20 per cent of spending.

"The surge in the use of tablets and smartphones last year, together with the ever faster delivery times achieved by an increasing number of retailers, has provided a new spur of growth to online shopping."