A surge in online Christmas shopping prevented a slump in retail sales in December, the lobby group British Retail Consortium (BRC) said Tuesday.
Sales were up 1.5 percent on last December's figures, but without a 17.8 percent increase in online non-food sales, the headline figure would have fallen, according to BRC.
"Since the beginning of 2011 we're really not going anywhere," said BRC director general Helen Dickinson.
"Many retailers have invested a lot in making their websites easier to use across devices and also increasing confidence in their online security.
"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."
The BRC figures are based on information supplied by its members.