BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Business
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Market Data 
Economy 
Companies 
E-Commerce 
Your Money 
Business Basics 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Thursday, 4 January, 2001, 20:02 GMT
Shoppers enjoy a bargain Christmas
shoppers in London
Shoppers enjoyed lower prices in the pre-Christmas rush
Consumers enjoyed the cheapest prices in the shops in the run-up to Christmas for three years, new figures have revealed.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said prices during December were slightly lower than last year and more than 1% down on 1997.

"Customers continued to get outstanding value for money on the High Streets in the run-up to Christmas. Prices were lower this Christmas in comparison with the past three years," said BRC director general Bill Moyes.

He said shops had been able to offer competitive prices, even though stores were open for longer hours.

The figures came on the same day that the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) reported that sales on the High Streets had picked up last month, though by not enough to fuel a pre-Christmas bonanza.

The CBI survey showed that 49% of retailers reported a rise in sales, compared with a year ago, while 33% reported a fall.

Sparkling sales

Meanwhile the Anglo-American jewellery company Signet - which operates through H Samuel, Ernest Jones and Leslie Davis - became the latest retailer to report dazzling pre-Christmas sales.

Sales of gems in the UK were up 8.7% between 1 November and 24 December, compared with the same period last year.

Ernest Jones shops saw the best gains, with sales up 13.9% on the previous year.

The company sells 30% of its products in the UK and it said that this helped to counter the tougher trading conditions in its core market, the US.

The company's chief executive, Terry Burman, said that the performance of Signet's UK division during the festive period had been an "excellent achievement".

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

02 Jan 01 | Business
Festive cheer for etailers
29 Dec 00 | Business
UK enjoys bumper sales
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories