Online retail sales in the UK are set to rise by 14% in the run-up to Christmas, reaching nearly GBP4.7bn (US$7.85bn) in December, according to an industry analyst.

Mintel expects total retail sales to rise 3% in December to GBP36.5bn, with non-food retailers predicted to rise 3.5% and online responsible for nearly 13% of all retail sales.

Mintel director of retail Richard Perks said he expected retail sales growth in December to be slightly more modest than last year, with rising consumer confidence offset by fears of impending interest rate rises among mortgage holders.

He added: “We expect year-on-year growth to be slightly more weighted towards non-food retailers – from specialists such as clothing and electricals stores, to general retailers such as department stores.”