Traditional British retailers are still adjusting to stiff online competition. REUTERS/Neil Hall
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U.K. retailers race to keep up with online demandBritish fashion retailers will switch their spending firepower to technology from the high street in 2017 after online shopping became the key driver of sales growth over the all-important festive period. Marks & Spencer is investing in apps, its website and logistics, while spending 350 million pounds ($430 million) over five years to close 10 percent of clothing and home space.Department store John Lewis said it was cutting staff bonuses in part to enable it to invest in its online operations after 40 percent of its Christmas sales came from the web.ASOS, with nearly 5 million active users in the U.K., said it would increase its own capital expenditure to keep ahead of the pack after it posted 18 percent U.K. sales growth in the four months to the end of the year.Boohoo grew British sales by 31 percent in the same period.Britain's biggest department store John Lewis, one of the leading retailers online over the last 15 years, said it would speed up its internet strategy after 40 percent of its Christmas sales came from the web, up from 36 percent last year.
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