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Nearly a fifth of non-food purchases were made online in October

New figures last night revealed that a record 18.3 per cent of non-food purchases were made online - via computers, tablets or mobile smartphones - in October, with more than 30 per cent of all footwear being bought over the web.

The British Retail Consortium added that the internet now accounted for 24.1 per cent of clothing sales made by stores. Online made up 3.7 per cent of health and beauty purchases.

The figures came as experts claimed shoppers will spend an all time high £10.8 billion with online retailers in December, up 15 per cent on last year.

Helen Dickinson, director general of the British Retail Consortium said shoppers were valuing the "choice and convenience" of shopping online.

She added: "It's expected many of us will 'click into Christmas' more than ever before this year and retailers have invested significantly in user friendly websites, fast deliveries and convenient ways of buying in-store."

David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said: "As we approach Christmas I would expect online sales to continue to pick up pace. This will be another bumper Christmas for the online sales channel."

Internet tracking specialists IMRG said they expect £10.8 billion to be spent online in December, with the busiest day for web shopping Monday December 2. The estimated spend for the last nine weeks of the year is £20.4 billion.

Dozens of Britain's biggest big name chains are cutting back the size of their physical store estate as more and more business goes online. B&Q is renting out space in its biggest stores to supermarkets such as Asda and Morrisons. Mothercare last year announced plans to close more than 100 stores.

Chris Webster, head of retail consulting at CapGemini said: "The impact of mobile devices in 2013 has been very significant. Improved mobile sites have made shopping on the move much easier."
Last week John Lewis said explosion in digital technology meant customers were now shopping for everything from three-piece suites to coloured jeans and table linens morning, noon and night.

A report last month from retail consultants Verdict predicted that the online retail industry will be worth £50 billion by 2018 with online shopping accounting for £1 in every £7 spent.

Source : Steve Hawkes - The Telegraph
www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/10425202/Record-amounts-of-clothing-footwear-and-homewares-are-being-bought-online-by-Britains-shoppers.html

05 November 2013
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