Last minute Christmas shoppers will spend around £168 million this coming weekend to Christmas Eve in the West End – giving retailers a very festive boost as the big day looms.

A representative of retailers on Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street says big promotions and discounts of as much as 50% will be on offer to the last minute pressie hunters. The level of spend is expected to be around the same as last year, although this final weekend before Christmas will see footfall in the West End increase by an expected 15%.

The New West End Company chief executive says that this will be the second busiest weekend behind Black Friday and, because Monday is strictly speaking a working day, could result in more people staying in the city, helping to drive in-store sales in the area for Saturday, Sunday, Monday up to the expected £168 million.

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Retail sales jump in November

Retailers will go into the Christmas week with another reason to be jolly as new figures show that sales grew more than expected in November. According to official figures published by the Office of National Statistics, there was a 1.4% increase in November, which was over 1% higher than the forecasted growth.

In the three months up to November, the overall growth was 0.4% – with the Office of National Statistics saying Black Friday and its changing nature of sales promotions made its task a little harder.

Retailers selling household goods fared best, with the largest growth in five years at 5.3%, prompted in part by an 11% increase in the sale of electrical goods.

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Google says mobile first indexing now powering over half of search results

Google has issued a mobile first update this week, stating that over half of its search results are powered by its mobile first index. While the roll out has been fairly slow, this move means that your search position stands a one in two chance of being determined by the mobile version of your webpage. You should have a notification from Google if this is the case, which you’ll find in Search Console. If not, this announcement means time is probably running out to get your mobile optimisation up to scratch.

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