Sales figures for December have shown an increase of 2.4 per cent over the same period in 2008, while online sales doubled year-on-year, according to figures from accountancy network BDO.
The figures reveal that the first two weeks of December saw the highest gains, with many stores reporting double digit sales growth, however sales declined in the latter half of the month as snow cloaked the country, reducing retail footfall.
“On the whole, mid-market retailers have had a merry Christmas. Sales for December are up 2.4 per cent on last year and less dramatic discounting in 2009 means margins are healthier too,” commented BDO head of retail Don Williams.
“Online sales go from strength to strength – sales have doubled on last year. With increased competition online, many retailers are set to relaunch their websites in the New Year. So it is more important than ever to ensure websites are user-friendly and that they have a compelling online offer, if they are to build on a good December and confound the pundits’ predictions of a challenging 2010.”