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FTSE 100 Subdued as BRC Reveals Online Saved Retailers in December -- Finspreads

LONDON -- (Marketwire) -- 01/08/13 -- Finspreads -- The FTSE 100 was subdued at 6062.9 points this morning (January 8th), as the markets opened on news online shopping managed to save the retail sector's sales from dropping in December. The FTSE posted its first loss of the year in yesterday's session, but it is still at a two-year high. Whitbread was among the FTSE's worst performers in early trading today, down 2%, followed by miners Rio and BHP.

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), purchases last month rose by 1.5 per cent compared to the previous year, while like-for-like sales excluding new store openings climbed by 0.3 per cent.

But without a 17.8 per cent advance in non-food sales via the internet, total sales would have fallen. The BRC also noted that the narrow gap between total sales and like-for-like sales was indicative of the small number of new store openings over the course of last year and suggested companies that do not offer a web service could struggle to keep their heads above water.

"For the more established retailers, it seems that much of the growth is now coming from online orders, while shop sales are stagnant at best," stated new BRC director-general Helen Dickinson.

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