Online spending partly rescues dismal December

Today’s ONS retail sales figures for December saw overall sales fall 0.6% against November. But a strong showing from department store web sales saved Christmas for many retailers says ParcelHero.

Retail spending estimates released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal December’s Christmas peak shopping period was far from being a cracker for most retailers. Overall sales were down 0.6% against November’s official figures, and the UK courier services expert ParcelHero says only e-commerce sales prevented a complete retail collapse this Christmas.

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT says: ‘December’s retail sales results were a grimly fitting finale to a truly dire year for retailers. Spending was down 0.3% and the amount we bought down 0.6% against November. The one bright point was a strong performance for many retailers’ web sites. Online spending was up 1.6% against November, with department stores web sales booming: up a heartening 15.5% against November. Footfall may be falling, but many consumers still prefer to buy more valuable gifts from familiar stores – even if they chose to do so online.’

Concludes David: ‘And there was more good news for retailers as their overall online sales grew 5.6% against last December. That’s a strong year-on-year result. Overall, December’s retail figures show shoppers like the peace of mind of the extra 14 day no quibble returns that online sales enjoy, but still like to buy from big name retailers. The close collaboration between stores and the courier services trusted for their home deliveries means shoppers were happy to have more items than ever delivered to their homes this Christmas.’