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.
Marks and Spencer said it is to head up a team of volunteers in conjunction with other companies to help local community projects on the 19th of November.
M&S will form part of a 600 strong IT team, and other companies involved in the project include Microsoft, Cognizant and SAP.
The volunteers will work on four projects: One is to help 200 Abbeyfield care home residents to use Google, Facebook and Twitter on laptops, iPads and iPhones to reconnect with their past.
Other volunteers will plant 10,000 trees in Heartwood Forest with the Woodland Trust and volunteers from the Prince’s Trust.
And 110 IT executives will become ambassadors in conjunction with educational charity STEMNET with the aim to help youngsters understand the importance of IT. The ambassadors will visit 15 schools to promote IT, with the event organised by M&S and Tata.
Marks & Spencer has launched a small pilot program to test its new mobile payments service. The M&S Digital Lab app was launched in February and Marks & Spencer says it will help it explore emerging technologies and understand how they might work.
However, the new mobile payments service is not actually a part of the m-commerce app. It is merely an element of Marks & Spencer’s overall marketing and technology campaign, reports QR Press Codes. Marks & Spencer is using a third-party app to try out its new service.
The Paddle app was developed by a London based startup and it is supposed to be leaner and easier to use than competing solutions. The app sorts out transactions by scanning QR codes and developers claim it is very secure.
The information is transmitted in the cloud, the credit card information and delivery address need to be submitted only once. Only the last four digits of the card must be submitted to validate the purchase, which should speed up transactions and improve security.