Online retail reaches £4.8 billion in July; boosted by wet weather

| Press release
Spend equivalent to £79 for every person in UK; wet weather helps boost online clothing sales by 23%

Figures released from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index today show that online spending rose in July to reach a total market value of over £4.8 billion – the equivalent of £79 for every person in the UK. The Index shows that shoppers continued to spend online despite pressures on disposable income with sales rising 11.3% on June. Online retail growth draws a sharp comparison to BRC figures which showed that retail sales for July were 0.9% down on July last year.

Seasonal variations
A wet July did not appear to curb UK shoppers as they turned to the internet to continue their spending. The rain however did appear to dampen barbeque related alcohol sales, typically high for July, which saw slower year on year growth. Instead, shoppers turned their thoughts to holiday plans and summer wardrobes which saw online sales in the clothing, footwear and accessories sector grow by 22.8% for July.

Sector splits
July saw growth across all sectors apart from the volatile and highly seasonal gifts sector which experienced a decline in sales. The electrical sector, which has seen a tough trading year so far, experienced its highest growth in 2008 – likely boosted by demand for the new Apple iPhone 3G and flat screen televisions ahead of the Olympics.

 

Mike Petevinos, Head of Consulting for Retail at Capgemini UK, said: “Gloomy market conditions have not dampened consumers’ appetite for shopping online. Online sales continue to show strong growth, particularly when compared to the tough trading conditions on the high street. The increase in clothing/footwear sales demonstrates consumers’ ever increasing familiarity with e-retailing, extending their shopping behaviour into more and more categories.  Even the electrical sector, which is highly susceptible to falling consumer confidence, is seeing good growth driven by the increased choice, price transparency and convenience that online has to offer.

Jo Evans, MD of IMRG commented: “This month’s Index results show that there is still confidence in purchasing products and services online despite the current economic conditions. Online retailers are taking full advantage of the present situation by making exceptional offers on their websites, with online sales now in full swing and UK shoppers using the web to search out those bargains, compare prices and ensure they get the best deals.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

About IMRG
IMRG (Interactive Media In Retail Group) is the industry body for global 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
Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, enables its clients to transform and perform through technologies. Capgemini provides its clients with insights and capabilities that boost their freedom to achieve superior results through a unique way of working - the Collaborative Business Experience - and through a global delivery model called Rightshore®, which aims to offer the right resources in the right location at competitive cost. Present in 36 countries, Capgemini reported 2007 global revenues of EUR 8.7 billion and employs over 86,000 people worldwide. More information is available at www.uk.capgemini.com.

About the ‘IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index
The IMRG Capgemini Index 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.

Around sixty e-retailers regularly contribute data to the IMRG Capgemini Index, including 247 Electrical, Airport Parking & Hotels Ltd, Ancestral Collections, Arcadia Group, ASOS.com, BeCheeky.com, Berry Bros. & Rudd, Boden.co.uk, Boots Direct, Buyagift.com, Carphone Warehouse, Charles Tyrwhitt, Cloggs, Comet, Co-operative Travel, Crocus.co.uk, dabs.com, Damart, Daxon, Debenhams, e flowersUK.co.uk, EmpireDirect, Figleaves.com, Firebox, Furniture123, Game.net, GreatValueJewellery.com, Greenfingers.com, Interflora, J D Williams, Jason Shankey, John Lewis Partnership, La Redoute, lastminute.com, Lighting-Direct, Lookfantastic.com, Made in Sheffield, Marks & Spencer, New Look, Next, Otto UK (Freemans, Grattan, Kaleidoscope), PetPlanet.co.uk, Pixmania, Prezzybox.com, QED-UK, QVC, R C Roland, Redcats UK, Shoe-Shop.com, Shop Direct Home Shopping, Schuh, Skinstore.com, Tesco.com Wine, Tesco Electrical, The Fragrance Shop, The Jewellery Channel, The Sunday Times Wine Club, TUI UK, United Co-op, Vertbaudet, Waitrose and  Wilkinson Hardware.

Quotes from retailers:

David Walmsley, Head of Web Selling of JohnLewis.com, said:
Johnlewis.com saw strong performance in July despite the tough trading conditions. We sell a very broad range of products online and saw particularly positive sales in televisions and home electricals, as well as our children’s ranges. Our express 2-day delivery service on a range of large electricals has proven especially popular with customers seeking fast replacement washing machines and fridges.

Stephanie Curry, Operations Director for Shoe-Shop.com, said:
Despite the doom and gloom on the high st and a summer which has killed sandal sales, our web sales are still growing at over 30% year on year. The internet is becoming ever more important as a location to find quality products not available in every town.

Alison Wade, Head of Marketing at Buyagift, said:
Buyagift had a sensational month for theme park sales, with turnover figures a whopping 128% up on 2007’s. Also, encouragingly our overall sales and turnover figures were well up on last years’ and
Buyagift are still on target to vastly exceed yearly projections.


Zak Edwards, Managing Director for PrezzyBox, said:
Although growth slowed a little in July, it was still around the 15% mark year on year, which was encouraging during all of the media hype about the credit crunch and recession.