Internet shoppers rallied the retail sector last month with figures showing that online sales accounted for a record 10.5% of all sales.

Growth online meant that overall spending rose by 0.3%, matching market expectations, with shoppers showing signs of bringing forward purchasing big-ticket items ahead of the VAT rise to 20% in January 2011.

The average weekly online sales rose by 36.6% year-on-year to £660 million a week in November, growing more than 10 times faster than the rest of the retail market, the Office of National Statistics has reported.

Overall the monthly growth rate for November was slower than the 0.7% increase in October, despite the online boost.

Annual growth returned, with a 1.1% increase compared with November 2009, whereas in October sales were down 0.1% on the year.

Sales of toys, clothes and footwear lead the way, while DIY products and furniture declined.

Vicky Redwood, senior UK economist at Capital Economics, said “ November’s UK retail sales figures provide further evidence that consumer spending is ending the year on a relatively strong note.

“ Admittedly, at least part of this strength probably reflects consumers bringing forward big-ticket spending ahead of the VAT rise. But for now, at least, consumer spending should prevent the overall economic recovery from slowing too sharply in the final quarter of this year”.

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit