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BRC-KPMG: November non-food sales growth driven by online

Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 16.0% in November versus a year earlier. In November 2012, they had increased by 7.5% over the previous year.

In November, online sales represented 19.9% of total non-food sales of our monitor, a record proportion selling online. Excluding online sales, Other Non-Food would have shown a decline in November.

November online growth was the best this year and, excluding December months, the best in three years.

Online sales contributed 2.0 percentage points to the growth of Non-Food total sales. In the last three months, the contribution averaged 1.6 percentage points – over half of the total non-food growth.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: "We said last month more of us will be clicking into Christmas than ever before this year, and November fuels that trend further, setting new records both for growth and penetration of non-food sales. November's growth rate is the best so far this year and the best in three years if you exclude the months of December.

"The proportion of goods bought online increased across all categories during the month, with clothing having a particularly strong showing. The signs are that many of us went online during the month to make an early start on our present shopping, and the Cyber Monday effect is likely to continue that trend into December.

"Faster delivery times and the growing popularity of Click & Collect means customers are ready to leave ordering online closer to Christmas with the confidence that their goods will still arrive on time.

"Nonetheless, these figures highlight that, while online may have come of age last Christmas, this year it's cementing its position as a popular choice at all stages of the customer journey."

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: "Retailers' digital channels have proved to be a major pillar of their sales strategy this year, with one in five products bought online this Christmas. It is a sobering thought that without the online transactions buoying them up, Other Non-Food sales would have actually fallen on the previous year's levels.

"Online sales will continue to soar in the run up to Christmas, reaching record heights in December, with transactions spiking on Mega Monday when the last day for guaranteed delivery before Christmas falls due.

"With multi-channel retailing now firmly established, what lies ahead for the retailer is considerable investment in digital analytics and logistics to improve personalisation and meet the increasing demands of the consumer."

Source : Helen Dickinson - British Retail Consortium

03 December 2013
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