In brief

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Sales on the high street are continuing their upward trend, with strong year-on-year growth in the first half of December, according to the latest CBI Distributive Trades Survey. Growth is expected to slacken slightly in January, however. The survey showed that for December, 67% of retailers said that sales were higher than a year ago. This means there have now been six months of strong sales figures in a row since July.

Parking policy should be seen as a way of attracting customers to the High Street and keeping the heart of communities beating, not simply as a revenue raiser, said the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Backing calls for cash-hungry councils to resist trade-killing increases in parking charges, the BRC said High Streets are a vital part of the private sector growth the wider economy urgently needs. They should be supported, not undermined.

The YouGov SixthSense Online Shopping Report revealed that electronic items remain toys for boys. Men in the 25-54 age group are the key online purchasers of computers and mobile phones (men aged 25-34 are the most likely to have bought mobile phones online, with 46% having done so, compared to 40% of men aged 40-54 and 31% of women overall). This gender bias in online shopping habits applies to all electronic items, from MP3 players (70% versus 80% overall) to DVD players (82% versus 89%). 

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