ONS retail figures reveal strong Christmas online sales may compensate for patchy High Street performance

December’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) retail sales estimates, released today, reveal online sales boomed by 13.9% YOY; and 2.9% over November’s sales figures, which include Black Friday. By contrast total retail sales sales slumped -0.9% against November’s; though they did show an unexpected 3.7% rise on 2017’s December results.

The home delivery experts ParcelCompare says internet sales once again bagged 20% of the entire retail market. ParcelCompare’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT, says: ‘It does very much look as if Santa has made a big switch to online sales to help source everyone’s gifts this Christmas.’

But there was hope for some of Britain’s favourite High Street names, says David: ‘Encouragingly for Britain’s beleaguered department stores, their online sales soared in December. Department stores saw an online increase of 12.8% YOY and a whopping 17.8% against November.’

Concludes David: ‘There seems to be a consensus amongst consumers that Black Friday offers, at least online, lost some of their gloss this November. Clearly home shoppers hung on and made the most of competitive December prices online. E-commerce sales could well have averted a very poor Christmas for some of our most loved retailers.’