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Small stores boost UK retail sales in December

Retail sales increased by 5.3% in December 2013 compared to the same month in 2012, figures released by the Office for National Statistics have shown.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Small stores boost UK retail sales in December

Retail sales increased by 5.3% in December 2013 compared to the same month in 2012, figures released by the Office for National Statistics have shown.

The data has revealed that small stores experienced higher growth year-on-year than large stores with the amount spent in small stores increasing by 8.1% compared with 2.6% in large stores.

Online sales climbed by 11.8% on December 2012 and by 1.8% compared with November 2013.

Commenting on the figures Richard Lowe, head of retail & wholesale at Barclays, said: “Today’s year on year figures are surprisingly high, as December proved to be a mixed bag for retailers and there were winners and losers on the high street. Shoppers left it until the last minute to snap up their Christmas presents, no doubt hoping that further discounting would take place.

“When consumers started spending, many chose to trade up or down when it came to food purchases, with discount and premium supermarkets faring better than the mid-range stores. Looking ahead at 2014, I expect to see low levels of sustained growth, and cautious optimism from retailers.”

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