Christmas sales boom restores hope for high streets – Express

High street shoppers
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The British Retail Consortium (BRC) revealed that total sales rose 2.1 per cent in the month to January 1 compared with the same period the previous year.
Over the three months to December, food sales nudged up 0.4 per cent while other sectors jumped 4.8 per cent.
The BRC is hopeful the positive trend will continue, helped by the Queen’s Jubilee weekend in June and the football World Cup from November. Paul Martin, of KPMG, said of the Christmas rush: « Consumers continued to head to the high street for their festive gifts, determined to secure the presents they wanted and not leaving online deliveries arriving on time to chance. » Market researcher NielsenIQ revealed yesterday that Marks & Spencer was the fastest- growing food retailer in the key Christmas quarter. It saw grocery sales soar by 9.4 per cent compared to the same period in 2020.
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Aldi hailed its « best ever » Christmas but UK chief executive Giles Hurley warned: « The top priority for most families this year will be managing their household budgets in the face of rising living costs. »
The Bank of England expects inflation to hit six per cent by spring. Analysts have warned that the energy bill price cap could leap by more than £700 in April when National Insurance rates also rise.
However, research by the Centre for Retail Research predicts that retail sales will grow by five per cent in 2022. In 2020, they improved by 0.3 per cent on 2019. 
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