The UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) said that sales in shops rose by 5.3 percent in December 2013 compared to the same period in 2012.
And, according to ONS, small shops did better than the megachains, rising by eight percent compared to 2.6 percent.
Growth in online sales now represents 12 percent of the pie and it’s thought that some of the growth was because shops frantically discounted in December. That’s not necessarily a good thing, of course.
As we reported earlier this month, sales were mixed from the big boys – M&S and Debenhams didn’t do that brilliantly but John Lewis surged ahead.
High street stores showed mixed results in their bids to win the hearts, souls and wallets of people over the Yuletide season.
Debenhams didn’t do at all well and that caused its chief beancounter, Simon Herrick, to fall on his sword this morning.
The John Lewis Partnership, which is a sort of cooperative, said its sales for the period were up 6.9 percent from the same Christmas period the year before. But it did particularly well on the interwibble front – in the five weeks to the 28th of December last its sales rose by over 22 percent.
Debenhams is in the slough of despond, however. It issued a profits warning for the next six months.
Obliquely, the John Lewis news is bad news for chip giant Intel too. Many people are using smartphones and tablets to buy online rather than wait for their X86 based machines to boot up.