According to Mastercard, retail spending - which the company defines as clothing, department and discount stores - grew 9.2 per cent, while card spending on electricals grew 4.2 per cent.
Mastercard Europe head of merchants, strategy and partnership Brian Moore believed the figures showed how consumer confidence in online shopping had grown over the Christmas period. He said: 'The figures clearly highlight a growing consumer preference towards the ease and convenience of online shopping. The added security and reassurance offered by using cards online offers consumers a safer, more enjoyable shopping experience, which is reflected in the phenomenal growth we have witnessed over the period. While high street spending was strong over the period, merchants everywhere should take note of the figures. UK consumers are sending a clear message to merchants about how they wish to shop and the trend is likely to continue.'