'Onesie' helps Debenhams to best Christmas figures ever

Among grocers, Sainsbury's is only one of Big Four to increase market share over Christmas

LAST UPDATED AT 09:06 ON Wed 9 Jan 2013

DEBENHAMS is celebrating its best Christmas ever - with sales of so-called 'onesie' sleepwear driving a five per cent increase in like-for-like sales compared with 2011.

The increase was helped by a 39 per cent jump in online sales, The Times reports. Online sales at the group now account for 12.6 per cent of total group sales, up from 9.3 per cent in the previous year.

Not everyone is wearing 'onesies': designer lingerie was also popular, with sales up 14 per cent in the week before Christmas.

Other notable best-sellers included the Jonathan Saunders Edition red coat, following its appearance in the 'Christmas Made Fabulous' television advertisements. Julien MacDonald party dresses also sold well.

Meanwhile, Sainsbury's was the only one of the Big Four supermarkets - the others being Tesco, Asda and Morrisons - to increase market share over Christmas, according to The Times.

The chain grew market share by 0.1 per cent to 17.3 per cent while its total sales were up 3.4 per cent in the 12 weeks to 23 December. The company will post its own figures tomorrow.

Figures from Kantar Wordpanel show that Tesco lost market share, dipping from 30.6 per cent to 30.5 per cent despite a 2.9 per cent rise in sales.

Morrisons lost 0.4 per cent to take a 12 per cent share of spending while Asda lost 0.2 per cent to 17.3 per cent.

Outside the Big Four, Waitrose saw sales rise by 5.4 per cent while discount chains Aldi, Lidl and Iceland all recorded the most impressive gains as consumers sought to rein in food bills.

However, at 3.9 per cent the overall increase in spending over Christmas was below the current 4.5 per cent rate of inflation in grocery prices. · 

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