IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index: Online retail sees highest growth this year

| Press release
Surge in clothing sales give Index extra boost
  • e-Retail sales up 17% in July 2012, the highest year-on-year growth this year
  • £6.5bn spent online in July 2012; 9% up month-on-month
  • Clothing sector surges to 15% year-on-year, up 18% on June 2012 
  • m-Retail continues to soar at 313% growth
  • Olympic effect results in 30% boost for electricals sector

The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index show that summer sunshine and Olympic fever loosened purse strings with online sales experiencing its highest growth this year, recording a huge 17% jump on July 2011 and a 9% increase on June 2012. This equated to an estimated £6.5bn spent online (an average of £128[1]  per person), a significant rise on the £5.8bn spent during July 2011. Total growth for the year to date stands at approximately 13% - in line with previous forecasts.

Clothing sales, helped by brief sunny spells and ongoing price cuts, made a welcomed return to double figure growth in July,  leaping 18% on June 2012 and up 15% on July last year.  New autumn lines hitting the shelves also contributed to the clothing spike encouraging shoppers to update their wardrobes earlier than usual.
Travel was up 12% year on year, recovering from a relatively sluggish performance in July 2011 when the sector was down 1% year on year. At £1,050, the average basket value (amount spent in a single purchase) broke the £1,000 barrier for the second time this year – a year-on-year increase of 24%. This growth suggests that despite economic uncertainty, Brits are prepared to spend to compensate for the disappointing summer weather seen in early July.

Electricals performed particularly well in July, increasing 30% on the same time last year, boosted by the wet weather and the need for indoor entertainment. The sector was also helped by Brits jumping online to buy high definition televisions and other electrical devices to guarantee the best seat in the house to watch team GB’s performance in the Olympics.

m-Retail sales[2] continued to grow at a huge rate in July, recording a 313% increase on the same time last year. Whilst this is still very strong growth, it falls short of the year-on-year growth experienced in May and June 2012 (up 360% and 356%, respectively).
Online-only and catalogue retailers reported a year-on-year growth of 19.5% in July, surpassing their multichannel counterparts (15%) for the seventh consecutive month. Online only retailers also fared better in terms of average basket-spend, reporting a growth of 23% - £101 spent on average in July 2012 compared with £82 in July 2011. Conversely, average basket-spend for multichannel retailers was down 1% at £198 compared with £200 in July 2011.

Chris Webster, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini says: “The return to such high growth will be welcomed by online retailers. While we won’t know the direct impact the Olympics has had on the sector until next month, the excitement and build up to the Games certainly contributed to July’s strong performance. Retailers, both online and offline, were offered a unique opportunity to build an international base of customers, so it will be interesting to see whether the UK successfully capitalised on the millions of additional visitors to Britain.”

Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG, comments: “July saw the strongest Index performance year-to-date in terms of annual growth, with sales peaking during the second week of the month when many retailers launched their summer sales. The London Olympics also appears to have had a positive effect for online retailers, including the travel sector, where the average spend was 24% higher than July last year.  It seems not all Britons enjoyed the blanket coverage of the Olympics, with many instead choosing to holiday abroad.
“The rapid growth in m-retail sales is clearly being driven by a change in consumers’ shopping behaviour and how and when they engage with brands. Retailers that focus on optimising their websites for this new breed of shopper will, no doubt reap the benefits of their investment
.”

IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index for July

Industry Quotes

Emma McLaughlin, Head of Online Marketing at John Lewis said: “Johnlewis.com continued its 2012 out-performance with an incredible July, achieving a +39% increase in sales year on year. This trading period, which included the latter part of our Summer Clearance, saw all product directorates beat last year by double digit growth as we continue to delight our customers with our range and omni-channel convenience.

“Our electricals business continues to be boosted by sales of Apple technologies, from iPads to notebooks and beyond. With customers thinking of beach reads and summer holidays, e-readers, particularly Kindle and Kobo, saw their best sales month so far. We also had stand-out performances from sales of tablets. This helped our electricals business to move forward by over 57% on the same month last year.

“In fashion - despite the weather continuing to be a challenge - the directorate came in +43% compared to last year with strong sales coming from womenswear and accessories, in particular handbags and shoes. Popular brands this month included Phase Eight, Mulberry, LK Bennett, Hobbs and Dune.

“Home saw sales +19% on July last year with strength across the directorate but with notable performances from lighting, wall décor and our outdoor assortment. This was also the month we saw our Olympic assortment in both home and fashion begin to sell through in volume which was nice to see in the run up to the fabulous two weeks of Team GB success.”

Notes to Editors
About IMRG

IMRG (Interactive Media In Retail Group) is the UK’s industry association for e-retail. Formed in 1990, IMRG is setting and maintaining pragmatic and robust e-Retail Standards to enable fast-track industry growth, and facilitates its community of members with practical help, information, tools, guidance and networking. Consumers can be confident when dealing with IMRG Members because all have committed to operate using methods that are Honest, Decent, Legal, Truthful and Fair, and have undertaken to not bring the industry into disrepute. The strength of IMRG is the collective and co-operative power of its members.

About Capgemini
With around 120,000 people in 40 countries, Capgemini is one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services. The Group reported 2011 global revenues of EUR 9.7 billion. Together with its clients, Capgemini creates and delivers business and technology solutions that fit their needs and drive the results they want. A deeply multicultural organisation, Capgemini has developed its own way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM, and draws on Rightshore®, its worldwide delivery model.

Learn more about us at www.capgemini.com.

Rightshore® is a trademark belonging to Capgemini

About the ‘IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index’
The IMRG Capgemini Index, which was started in April 2000, tracks ‘online sales’, which we define as ‘transactions completed fully, including payment, via interactive channels’ from any location, including in-store.  These sales are predominantly internet-based today, but the Index remains ready to record e-retail sales conducted via whatever interactive channels the market may embrace in the future.

Index Participants
Around one hundred e-retailers now regularly contribute data to the IMRG Capgemini Index, including A. Hume Country Clothing, Airport Parking & Hotels Ltd, Amara, Arcadia Group (Burton, Top Man, Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Wallis, Miss Selfridge), Ask Direct, ASOS.com, Bank, Berry Bros & Rudd,  Binends.com, Blacks, Boden.co.uk, Boohoo.com, Boots Direct, Boutique to You, Brandosa.co.uk, Brora, Buyagift.com, BuyItDirect.co.uk, Carphone Warehouse, Charles Clinkard, Charles Tyrwhitt,  Clarks, Cloggs, Cocosa, Co-operative Travel, Crocus.co.uk, Dabs.com, Damart, Debenhams, Effortless Skin, Ethical Superstore, Firebox, First Choice, Freemans Grattan Holdings, Furniture123, Game, Gamestation, Getting Personal.co.uk, Greenfingers.com, Home & Cook, House of Fraser, JD Sports, J D Williams, John Lewis Partnership, Ladderstore.com, Lastminute.com, LK Bennett, Lookfantastic.com, Lyco Direct, M and M Direct, Majestic Wine, Marks & Spencer, Matalan, Millets, Naked Wines, NaturalCollection.com, New Look, Next, Perfect Handbags, PetPlanet.co.uk, Philip Kingsley, PIXmania, Prezzybox.com, Purely Gadgets, QVC, Redfoot Revolution, Richer Sounds, Sainsbury’s, Scales Express, Schuh, Scotlight Direct, Scott, Shoe-Shop.com, Shop Direct Home Shopping (Additions, Great Universal, Kays, Littlewoods, Empire, Woolworths, Very, Isme), Serenata Flowers, Size, Slurp.co.uk, Sofa and Home, Sparkling Strawberry, Sunshine.co.uk, Tesco.com, The Body Shop,  The Fragrance Shop, The Mat Factory, The Natural Skincare Co, The Natural Store, The White Company, ToxicFox, TUI UK, Turton Wines, Waitrose, Warehouse, Wilkinson Hardware & Wynsors World of Shoes.

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[1]  £6.5bn divided by the estimated number of UK adults 50.9m
[2] All m-commerce data is drawn from the m-Retail Sales Index, which runs in parallel with the main Index