Online sales growth at 10-month high

The online retail sector grew by 18% in the year to August 2014, according to e-retail industry body IMRG.

Around £8.1 billion was spent online between August 2013 and August 2014, the highest level of growth since November 2013.

The IMRG figures also show:

  • the clothing sector recorded annual growth of 20%
  • the accessories subsector grew by 60% year-on-year
  • the home subsector has grown by just 1% since August 2013.

Separate figures published by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) showed that online sales of non-food products grew by 19.8% in August 2014 compared with a year earlier.

This is the highest growth recorded since the BRC started monitoring online sales at the end of 2012.

The BRC figures also show:

  • 16.5% of total non-food sales were made online
  • growth was evenly spread across all sectors
  • online sales contributed 1.9% to the total increase in non-food sales.

Andrew McClelland, chief policy and operations officer at IMRG, said:

"A cold spell during August combined with the launch of Autumn/Winter 2014 clothing ranges boosted e-retail growth. Interestingly, the high street brands continued to perform particularly strongly with electrical sales vying for the top spot this month. Overall Index growth of 18% sees us on target to exceed the earlier expectations of growth for 2014. A £100 billion year is certain to be exceeded in 2014."

Helen Dickinson, director general of the BRC, said:

"As shoppers turn their attention towards Christmas we expect the volume of sales transacted online to accelerate, although we expect them to interact across all channels as part of the shopping journey. Retailers continue to make considerable investment creating quality online shopping experiences and highly-skilled jobs."

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