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BRC-KPMG: Online sales growth slows in February compared to last year

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Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 8.3% in February versus a year earlier, when it had risen by 14.3% over the previous year. This month's growth is close to the 3-month average of 8.8%. In February 2015, online sales represented 17.5% of total Non-Food sales, against 16.6% in February 2014.

Toys & Baby Equipment was the second fastest growing category online for the second consecutive month, followed by Household Appliances. Health & Beauty also experienced its best performance since February 2013.

Online sales contributed 1.0 percentage points to the growth of Non-Food total sales in February. The 3-month average contribution of online to Non-Food growth exceeded that of stores for the sixth consecutive month. Online accounted for almost two-thirds of Non-Food sales growth on a 3-month basis.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: "On a three month basis the largest proportion of non-food sales growth came from online sales rather than bricks and mortar for the sixth consecutive month. February saw a lull after the Christmas rush and January sales but managed to maintain a healthy rate of growth on top of February 2014's strong performance.

"Valentine's day seems to have particularly boosted the Health and Beauty category with online sales of those products growing at their greatest rate since February 2013.

"As the figures show online sales are still a crucial driver of the retail industry's continued success. Retailers will continue to look at these figures closely to see what combination of online and in store offering works best for their customers."

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: "Online sales were the primary driver of growth for the Non-Food retail sector over the last three months, with shoppers spending more online than in store on non-food items. Smartphones and tablets have helped to cement this shift, and it is vital retailers recognise this and invest in systems which make it easier for consumers to shop using these devices.

"The high street still has a leading role to play in the success of retailers' operations, but most will acknowledge that it is no longer the sole star of the show."

Source : BRC-KPMG


14 March 2015

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