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BRC-KPMG: February retail sales saved by online

Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 14.3% in February versus a year earlier. In February 2013, they had increased by 12.3% over the previous year.

In February, online sales represented 17.5% of total Non-Food sales of our Monitor, against 15.4% in February 2013.

Online sales contributed 2.1 percentage points to the growth of Non-Food total sales. Excluding online, Non-Food store sales would have been down in February: half of the categories – Clothing, Footwear and Other Non-Food – would have shown a decline.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: "Online sales continued to show strong growth in February for what is generally a relatively quiet, mid-season month. Overall, the 17.8 per cent sales growth average from the last three months is significantly higher than the 12 month average of 12.7 per cent.

"These figures underline the importance of retailers' omnichannel offers, with online sales boosting what would otherwise have been declining sales figures for half of all categories.

"Online and omnichannel retailing is going from strength to strength. Consumers are increasingly using smartphones and tablets to research and buy almost every type of product, and retailers continue to invest heavily to provide the seamless customer journey that shoppers are demanding. The industry continues to demonstrate real innovation with online at the heart of structural changes which are spreading to all corners of retailing."

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: "After suffering one of the wettest winters on record it's perhaps unsurprising that shoppers preferred to shop from the sanctuary of their sofas in February. Online played a crucial role this month, and without internet sales, non-food sales would have fallen into negative territory. Online sales remain a key pillar of retailers' revenues and this absolutely justifies the extensive investment being made to improve multichannel operations and the experience retailers deliver to customers both online and in store."

Source : Helen Dickinson - BRC Director General

11 March 2014
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