A report by accountant Grant Thornton says that stock market-listed stores are facing increasingly tougher conditions. The firm’s Quoted Retail Companies Index found that 22 per cent of retailers posted negative trading updates in the three months to the end of December, up from 15 per cent in the third quarter.

Further gloom is expected this week as both M&S and Sainsbury’s are expected to announce disappointing trading updates.

Deri Jones, CEO of web testing firm SciVisum believes that these figures show that consumers are turning away from the high street for good in favour of online spending.

“The numbers show the hard reality that the high street is in demise. But retailers that have good ecommerce platforms in place such as Amazon and Play.com are thriving and are able to take advantage of the cultural shift in the way we shop. Those that haven’t, and are not measuring customer experience and dropped purchase journeys will either make the change this year or suffer,” said Deri Jones, CEO, SciVisum.

Online spending has repeatedly broken all forecasts. Actinic reported a 27 per cent rise in the number of customers buying online at Christmas compared to the same period in 2006.

Online spending reached £130bn in 2006 according to the Office for National Statistics and is forecast to rise to £162bn by 2020.

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Sam Grace
Rainier PR
0207 494 6593

Published on: 12:00AM on 8th January 2008