Jan08 - British retailers suffered from lacklustre December sales as a tough economy limited consumer spending in the run-up to Christmas when many stores make most of their profits. Hayley Platt reports
1.5% is today's Daily Digit in Europe. It's the increase in retail sales in the UK year on year for December. But what should have been one of the biggest profit opportunities for many stores, turned out to be a disappointment. Like for like sales rose just .3 percent. Fewer customers felt confident about splashing the cash during the run-up to Christmas. The British Retail Consortium said sales growth had been rather underwhelming throughout the year and 2013 shows little sign of improving. The fortunes for individual retailers were mixed. Upmarket John Lewis and House of Fraser both enjoying solid sales growth. While supermarket chain Morrisons - which doesn't trade online - reported a fall in underlying sales. Many retailers reported a strong surge in internet sales - annual online growth was 18%, helped by a wet December. There was also some good news for the economy as a whole - a new survey suggested a broad rise in business sentiment over the last three months of the year.