December retail sales set to grow 2.5%

UK retail sales are to reach £42 billion in December, according to new data.

With the festive season fast approaching and many retailers ready with their Christmas offerings, market research provider Mintel estimates that total UK retail sales will grow 2.5% next month.

The news follows Adobe’s announcement that UK shoppers will spend £17.7 billion online over the festive period, up 7% on last year.

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Mintel director of retail research Richard Perks said: “We’ve been through the worst downturn and financial crisis since the war, but we’ve had a sustained period of growth since 2012.

“Although there’s no doubt there are problems on the horizon, when looking solely at Christmas, it seems to us that consumer demand is holding up well. Retailers should be satisfied with the outcome of Christmas – it will be good, though not great.”

Going forward, Mintel expects modest retail growth in 2016.

“While we can’t ignore the fact that economic growth is slowing and there are uncertainties ahead, at present, with incomes growing and a strong housing market we can be relaxed about the prospects for retailing in 2016,” said Perks.

“That said, retailing is changing faster than we have ever known it. This is not just a question of online sales, where growth is beginning to slow; nor is it limited to the growth for discounters.”

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