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Online shopping reaches highest growth rate in two years

The latest results from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index show that total sales online increased by 22% in May compared to last year in the highest growth since June 2008.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Online shopping reaches highest growth rate in two years

The latest results from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index show that total sales online increased by 22% in May compared to last year in the highest growth since June 2008.

Sales were boosted by warm weather and the bank holiday weekends.

Shoppers spent £4.5 billion online during the month, equivalent to £73 for every person in the UK. The Index shows a 3% increase in sales in May compared to April this year.

There was a 23% increase in alcohol sales compared to last year as shoppers stocked up on booze ahead of the World Cup. This was fuelled by discounted prices being offered by many retailers. Sales of electrical goods also jumped by 13%, perhaps an indication of the surge in flat screen TVs being sold to coincide with the tournament.

Sales of clothes online rose considerably in May, with a 32% increase compared to last year, in line with the warmer temperatures as well as the World Cup fuelling sales of sportswear ahead of the big England matches.

Tina Spooner, Director of Information at IMRG said: “With online sales growing at their highest rate in almost two years, this is good news for the e-retail industry. The fine weather in late May, together with the build up for the World Cup appears to have had a positive impact for e-retailers.

“Year to date, the UK e-retail market has grown 14%, which is in line with our predictions for this year. With recent research suggesting that over half of consumers believe the economy is now recovering from the recession, it is evident that e-retailers have already started to benefit from an increase in consumer spending."

Chris Webster, Vice President, Retail Consulting and Technology, Capgemini, added: “Throughout the history of the Index, we have seen a noticeable rise in sales of certain goods whenever there is a major sports tournament on. This year’s World Cup is no exception, with online retail as a whole growing by the highest level in two years, and sectors such as clothing, alcohol and electricals rising especially rapidly. It’s good to see that consumers’ spirits haven’t been dampened by concerns over government spending cuts, and savvy retailers will have embraced the opportunity to draw in new customers with marketing and price incentives.”

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