Christmas shopping gave a much-needed boost to the retail sector in December, increasing sales by 6.9 per cent.
Although it is not a big surprise that people purchased more items in the lead-up to Christmas, sales in December 2022 were 3.1 per cent higher than December 2021, despite customers being forced to pay higher prices.
This could be down to retailers working twice as hard to get customers through its doors during this difficult financial year.
Chief executive of the British Retail Consortium Helen Dickinson said: “The uptick in spending over Christmas gave many retailers cause for cheer.”
She added: “Many consumers braved the cold snap and the strikes to ensure friends and families got the gifts they wanted.”
The figures showed in the three months leading to December, in-store sales of non-food items rose by 5.3 per cent on a total basis and 4.5 per cent on a like-for-like basis.
Despite this, Ms Dickinson warned British retailers to do what they can to boost business in 2023, as they are likely to face “further headwinds” this year. This the result of cost pressures, constrained spending, and increased living expenses.
For many stores, last year was extremely challenging. According to the Centre for Retail Research (CRR), 17,000 sites were forced to close in 2022, which is the highest number for five years. It is also 50 per cent more than 2021’s figures.
Shops need to be on top of their retail maintenance now more than ever, so they can continue to attract customers during this difficult economic period.