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British consumers spend £10 billion online during January and February

£4.9 billion spent online during February; equates to a year-on-year increase of 20%

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

British consumers spend £10 billion online during January and February

£4.9 billion spent online during February; equates to a year-on-year increase of 20%

The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index reveal that shoppers in the UK spent a total of £4.9 billion online during February, equivalent to £79 per person; 20% more than the same period last year.

In stark contrast to recent reports that indicated the high street suffered its weakest sales growth for two years, British consumers have spent £10 billion online during January and February, far exceeding earlier expectations.

The Index also suggested that many New Year’s resolutions and detox diets have fallen by the wayside, as sales in alcohol saw a massive increase in February as Brits stock up ahead of the expected increase in duty in the Budget later this month. Alcohol sales leapt 37% on January and up 25% on February 2010. 

The clothing sector also saw a significant rise, with year-on-year growth reaching 34%; perhaps a result of Brits looking to ditch their thick winter wardrobes as the UK experienced the mildest February since 2002.

Chris Webster, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini says: “February was a good month for online retail, up 20% on the same period last year. This increase is on the back of a very solid second half to 2010 and whilst some of the growth can be attributed to a weak start last year, nearly £5 billion spent online is very significant and in stark contrast to the weak sales experienced by the traditional bricks and mortar retailers.”

Tina Spooner, Director of Information at IMRG comments: “The February Index results paint an optimistic picture for the e-retail market, especially when compared with the poor performance of traditional retail sales last month. UK shoppers spent a staggering £10bn online during January and February, a clear indicator of how strong consumer confidence is in the online channel even during a period in which high street spending is down.”

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