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On-line retail spend topped 5bn in January

UK shoppers spent £5.1bn online in January as consumers opted to take advantage of seasonal discounts on furniture and holidays from the comfort of their own homes, according to the latest figures from IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

The report shows a 31% rise in spend on the travel sector compared to January 2010. The average basket value of holidays booked at £886, the highest recorded since the launch of the Index in December 2008.

The home and garden sector, which has seen five months of decline, also recorded growth of 56% attributed to improved weather over the month and healthy discounts.

Meanwhile, multi-channel retailers have seen a strong online take-up with sales up by 30% compared to a 24% decline in December. However, this comes at a cost to pure play online retailers who saw growth of just 8% after suffering a fall of 27% the previous month. Shoppers also spend more online with multi-channel retailers with average spent at £195 compared to just £92 with online-only retailers.

Chris Webster, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini, said: “As expected we saw a strong growth in the Index following a very weak start last year, but the jump in the travel sector and the gap between multi-channel and pure plays has come as quite a surprise.

“It seems that the British consumer is looking ahead to sunnier times and taking full advantage of the big New Year sales offered by the major travel operators. It remains to be seen whether the sector continues this growth in February following the recent announcement that Iceland’s second largest volcano, Bardarbunga, is on the verge of erupting.”

Tina Spooner, director of information at IMRG, said: “While the Index results for January show a very encouraging start to the year for e-retailers, it is important to note this strong growth is on the back of the lowest-ever annual growth recorded in January last year when the e-retail market grew just 4.6%. Multichannel retailers performed well last month with sales growing by almost a third compared with January last year, but the pureplays and catalogue retailers saw annual growth dip to 8%, following a year of steady growth in 2010.”

Source :

21 February 2011
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