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Retailers report 'surprising' Christmas sales

12th January 2010

The UK's retailers experienced a stronger Christmas than expected, the latest figures have shown.

According to the Retail Sales Monitor for December, published by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and professional services provider KPMG, like-for-like sales values increased by 4.2 per cent when compared to the year before.

In December 2008, sales fell by 3.3 per cent as consumer confidence was damaged by the turmoil in the financial markets.

Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC, said the results are stronger than the retail industry 'dared hope for'.

'After a surprisingly muted November, this is the best total sales growth for a December since 2005 and goes well beyond just making up for the sales fall the sector suffered a year ago,' he commented.

Mr Robertson added that snowy conditions may have kept customers out of the shops for some time in December, but they turned out in force in the days before Christmas and at sales afterwards.

Last week, leading high street names such as Foyles, John Lewis, Majestic Wine and Sainsbury's announced that they enjoyed strong sales growth during the festive period.

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