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August online retail sales up 14% on last year

Ecommerce has continued to outperform the high street in terms of growth in August with UK sales totalling £5.2 billion, according to data published today.

Year-on-year e-tail sales rose 14 per cent last month but due to seasonal trends online trading fell six per cent from to July, compared to the month-on-month declines seen in 2010 and 2009 of eight and ten per cent respectively.

Data from IMRG and Capgemini revealed that the home & garden sector saw the biggest increase in online sales in the period, up a staggering 40 per cent year-on-year, whilst health & beauty products also saw a healthy 33 per cent increase in trading.

Clothing once again showed strong growth in the month with an increasing number of fashion retailers investing in multichannel services, but while e-tail sales rose 25 per cent against last year the end of the summer sales period meant they were down 15 per cent compared to July.

Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG, said: “Fashion-conscious consumers are one of the key growth drivers in the UK e-retail sector, with clothing sales continuing to outperform the total online retail market.

“Year-to-date the online clothing sector has grown 27 per cent, with sales of accessories soaring 56 per cent in the same period. Between January and August the total UK e-retail market grew 17 per cent, when compared with the same period in 2010, with Britons having spent an estimated £41.9bn shopping online.”

Beer, wines and spirits is another sector becoming increasingly popular with online shoppers, with sales up 25 per cent year-on-year and all retailers with brick and mortar and online operations also saw strong 16 per cent growth for the period.

Perhaps as a consequence of tightening budgets, online spend on travel fell four per cent month-on-month and grew just three per cent compared to last year.

Russ Carroll, UK Managing Director of, commented: “Drinks and DIY tools showed strong growth in August, implying Brits were making the most of the summer months to entertain and make home improvements.

“Clothing once more showed incredible year on year growth, a sign of the huge strides made by fashion retailers in making clothes shopping online as enjoyable as it is on the high street.”

Source : Jon Whiteaker – Retail Gazette

14 September 2011
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