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BRC-KPMG: Record online sales light up Christmas

Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 19.2% in December versus a year earlier. In December 2012, they had increased by 18.4% over the previous year.

In December, online sales represented 18.6% of total non-food sales of our monitor, against 16.5% in December 2012.

December online growth was the strongest this year and the best since March 2010.

Online sales contributed 2.4 percentage points to the growth of Non-Food total sales. In the last three months, the contribution averaged 1.9 percentage points – nearly three-quarters of the total non-food growth.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: "As expected, more of us clicked into Christmas than ever before, with online non-food sales growth putting in its best performance since March 2010 and accounting for nearly 20 per cent of spending.

"The surge in the use of tablets and smartphones last year, together with the ever faster delivery times achieved by an increasing number of retailers, have provided a new spur of growth to online shopping.

"Multichannel built on its strong position across all stages of the customer journey, from browsing and comparing prices to buying and collecting in-store. Retailers have invested significantly in their websites and delivery times, and this enhanced offer clearly struck a chord with customers who valued flexibility, choice and convenience whenever and wherever they did their shopping."

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: "With one in five items bought on the internet in December, this really was an online Christmas for the retail sector. The statistics show that whilst store sales continue to flatline, online sales remain the main driver of growth for the sector, contributing nearly three quarters of the uptick in non-food sales in the last quarter of 2013.

"The winners this Christmas were those retailers with slick multichannel operations, who could offer consumers the flexibility to shop how, and when, they wanted to.

"Retailers now need to focus on the ‘last mile' and figure out how to get the item to the customer even faster. Retailers who can offer same day delivery, at a reasonable price, will be the winners in the race for sales in 2014, and steal a march on their competitors."

Source : Helen Dickinson - British Retail Consortium
www.brc.org.uk/brc_news_detail.asp?id=2559

10 January 2014
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