Shop Direct sees online sales boost

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Shop Direct saw record online trading in the first week of December

Littlewoods and Very parent company Shop Direct has said sales grew 5% over Christmas as snowed-in shoppers ordered from home and rushed to snap up winter warmers.

The home shopping giant, which also owns Woolworths.co.uk, said the snow and freezing conditions helped it in the run-up to Christmas, with record online trading in the first week of December as consumers shunned the high street.

The group also saw strong demand for cold weather clothing and shoes as it improved its sales in the six weeks to December 31.

Sales of knitwear soared 70%, while Shop Direct sold 40% more jackets and coats over the festive period.

Website sales saw double-digit growth, with 70% of the business now traded online, while overall orders peaked at 8,000 in one hour on its busiest day on December 6.

However, sales growth was marginally lower than the 6.3% rise seen the previous Christmas.

Shop Direct chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said: “We saw clothing and footwear do well, but did not see strong demand for the ‘big ticket’ items – we did not see people bring forward purchases to beat the VAT rise”.

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