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BRC-KPMG: May's online retail sales surge ahead

Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 17.0% in May versus a year earlier. In May 2013, they had increased by 9.9% over the previous year. This is the highest online growth recorded since our records started in December 2012, excluding Christmas and New Year.

In May, online sales represented 18.7% of total Non-Food sales of our Monitor, against 17.0% in May 2013. May's penetration is the second-highest recorded by our monitor, after last November.

The Other Non-Food category contributed over half of the growth. Clothing reported its highest growth since Christmas, and Footwear since December 2012.

Online sales contributed 2.1 percentage points to the growth of Non-Food total sales. Over the last three months, Online represented one third of the total Non-Food growth.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: "Britain's fashion retailers are leading the way in developing their digital offering for discerning customers and that is really paying off in resulting sales figures. This month sees the highest growth in online sales of clothing for five months and the proportion of purchases we are making online has grown several percentage points in a year. This also represents the highest penetration ever recorded for Clothing since the inception of the online monitor. Footwear is telling a similar story where great websites and good online service have led to the second-highest proportion of footwear sales online ever recorded by our monitor.

"The overall strong performance is underpinned by the broadening of the ranges available online, from game consoles to garden furniture. For clothing and footwear we're seeing a marked shift towards the seasonal ranges of lightweight jerseys, sandals, canvas shoes and outdoor wear while products with a World Cup theme are starting to sell across all gender and age groups."

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: "Online sales surged ahead in May, driving a third of non-food sales growth for retailers over the quarter and underscoring the importance of having a strong multichannel business. As the shift to online slowly continues, retailers must invest in analysing the data they are gathering about their online customers and use this to improve their total proposition.

"The rise of online gives retailers the opportunity to have unbridled insight into consumer shopping habits and it's vital they take advantage of this and use it to inform their business strategy."

Source : Helen Dickinson - BRC
www.brc.org.uk/brc_news_detail.asp?id=2641

11 June 2014
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