LONDON (Reuters) - British consumer spending over the Christmas period has so far held up better-than-expected, providing some relief to retailers who had feared an escalating cost-of-living crisis would hit the key holiday sales period.
Only a small number of retailers have so far reported their Christmas sales. Some of the country's biggest names, including Tesco, Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer, are due to update next week.
The British arm of German discount supermarket group Aldi said its sales in December rose 26% compared to the previous year. It highlighted strong growth in sales of fresh meat, with fresh poultry and pork options both up over 28%.
British discount retailer B&M said comparable sales rose 6.4% in its key Christmas quarter, showing that shoppers sought out value options as they grappled with the cost-of-living crisis.
Health and beauty products retailer Boots UK said its December retail sales were up around 15% year-on-year, highlighting strong sales in gifting and fragrance categories.
Fast food chain Greggs said its festive bakes, mince pies and salted caramel lattes, along with breakfast and lunch offers, appealed to cash-strapped Christmas shoppers, helping like-for-like sales rise 18.2% in its final quarter.
British clothing retailer Next beat forecasts posting a 4.8% rise in full price sales in the nine weeks to Dec. 30, highlighting a boost from a cold snap in December which helped jackets and coats fly off the shelves.
(Reporting by UK bureau)