Martin Stabe Department stores drive UK’s online retail sales spike

Surprisingly strong Christmas period retail sales data out today showed that UK shoppers spent 7.1 per cent more than in December 2012.

And online sales, which were seasonally adjusted for the first time in today’s ONS release, jumped 11.8 per cent. The average weekly online spending of £675m now accounts for 11.8 per cent of all retailing excluding fuel.

But as this interactive chart shows, the surge in online Christmas shopping was extremely uneven across retail categories.

Department stores (or “non-specialised non-food” stores, as they are snappily referred to in the ONS data) were the big winners online, with the value of internet sales increasing 35 per cent over the previous Christmas period.

By contrast, the value of sales at household goods retailers was flat overall, with the value of online sales slightly lower than in 2012.