A LAST MINUTE SPLURGE helped push up UK Christmas retail sales, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has reported.
The BRC has just issued its report on Christmas holiday season retail sales in the UK. It said that they were okay, and were aided in no small part by late holiday season shoppers.
Sales rose 1.8 percent, said the outfit, which was marginally better than the 1.8 percent increase in the same period last year. The BRC called this increase a respectable outcome.
"This is a respectable result overall, in line with our prediction that Christmas trading in 2013 would reflect that while confidence levels were higher than the previous year, this wasn't always matched by more money in pockets," explained Helen Dickinson, director general of the British Retail Consortium.
"The last-minute rush also arrived as expected, giving a major boost to sales in the final few days before Christmas after a fairly flat showing mid-month."
Online did well, and online non-food sales grew nicely. Dickinson said that health and beauty products, toys and homewares all benefited from increasingly connected consumers and a sudden urge to splurge.
"Multichannel is the other big story of the season. This Christmas we've seen innovative retailers using click and collect and other approaches to make a virtue of both their website and their physical shops. And that's something we see growing in importance," she added.
"Fast deliveries and social media offers have also helped us to plan ahead and cover off our Christmas lists efficiently. In non-food, toys and electricals were key battlegrounds, with customers responding well to competitive offers on festive 'must-haves'."
While overall sales increased by 0.4 percent, non-food online sales increased by just under 20 percent. Online sales accounted for one in every five sales. µ