Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.

This week’s My Five is by Ashleigh.

1. High Street sales fell in December, as more shoppers choose to shop online again 

Fashion sales took the biggest hit, as overall sales dropped 0.1% in December year on year (YoY), more was spent on home wares, but less on clothing. Online sales, however, were up 19% for the same period YoY.

Both online and the high street saw increases in the week immediately prior to Christmas Day – the high street saw a year on year increase of 12% and online saw a whopping 51% increase YoY – and now online sales make up 15% of all money spent on retail.

Sophie Michael, Head of Retail and Wholesale at BDO said, “coming at a critical juncture, this fourth negative December in succession highlights the magnitude of the challenge that lies ahead for 2017, when consumers will more keenly feel the bite of inflation and the weaker pound.”

2. Another ‘near death’ experience for the Queen

In last week’s My Five, Libby mentioned the fake news story about Queen Lizzie’s death and this week that story nearly came true when security personnel mistook Her Majesty as an intruder.

It’s been reported that the Queen decided to take a late-night walk around the grounds of the palace and was close to being shot as her armed guards mistook her for an imposter.

She’s OK though again. Phew!

3. Another fake Twitter story exposed

fake tweet went viral

People quickly discovered that this was all a hoax as the geotag said he was in the Central Library in Manchester, not in Sale, and also the library in question had been closed for two and a half hours at the time of tweeting.

There have been some great follow-up, mocking, tweets too:

Should have done your research, Michael.

4. What will they think of next?

Kérastase, L’Oréal’s luxury brand, is dipping its toe in the internet of things and is developing the world’s first smart hairbrush.

It will allow beauty brands to communicate directly with consumers and provide “much more personalised marketing”.

The new innovative brush does the following:

  • scores the quality of the user’s hair
  • monitors the effects of different hair care routine
  • listens to the sound of hair brushing via an in-built microphone, to identify patterns and give insights into manageability
  • determines if the brush is being used on dry or wet hair

The lightweight brush, that can replace a user’s everyday, bog-standard hair brush, also works alongside an app that provides additional insights and customised product recommendations.

There have been accusations that it’s all a PR stunt, to which Vincent Nida, Kérastase, said “The reason we are presenting at CES is it is much more than a PR stunt. We’ve invested four years of our time in this. We are not known as a consumer electronics brand but it is important for us to be credible in that field,”

5. Can you tell which are the optical illusions?

Artist Howard Lee has been sharing some of his extremely life like drawings on instagram (https://www.instagram.com/howard__lee/) and has been getting some attention on Twitter, after he was featured as a Twitter ‘moment’.

Can you tell which are the illusions?