FURNITURE retailer Barker and Stonehouse has secured a record number of online Christmas orders.

The Middlesbrough-based company said website improvements saw a 600 per cent increase in seven days.

The firm’s IT manager Chris Fletcher said: “We’re on track to double the amount of sales from last year. People are snapping up accessories, and our dining ranges are selling very well.”

The store was among thousands of online retailers to benefit from the £417m forecast to be spent in the UK on Monday, December 7.

In the run-up to Christmas online shoppers were expected to click their way through £17.4m an hour, or £290,000 a minute, according to a study by the Centre for Retail Research for online retailer Kelkoo. The study also forecast a Christmas sales total spend of £44.7bn, compared to £43.9bn last year, a year-on-year increase of £832m.

Family run Barker and Stonehouse also has eight stores and three warehouses between Newcastle and Nottingham.