Shoppers spend nearly £4 billion online in August

| Press release
New figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index reveal that UK shoppers spent £3.8 billion online in August 2009
  • August online sales rise by 16% on 2008 – beating forecasts
  • Back to school sales power rise in footwear sales

New figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index reveal that UK shoppers spent £3.8 billion online in August 2009 which is 16% higher compared to August 2008.  Month on month sales fell by 10% in August, closely in line with seasonal trends seen in previous years.

Sector splits

The Index shows that nearly all sectors have seen a dip in month-on-month growth, with only the footwear, gifts and electrical sectors showing a small monthly rise in spending.  Sales of shoes online rose by 3%, perhaps as eager mums stocked up on back-to-school uniforms.

The beers, wines & spirits and lingerie sectors have seen decreasing growth throughout 2009: alcohol sales have shown negative year-on-year growth in five out of the last six months. The lingerie sector has also continued to see negative growth each month – a sign that consumers are cutting back on luxury items as the recession bites.

The clothing sector, while experiencing a dip in sales against July, has continued to perform well throughout the year.  Fashion e-retailers are ahead of the game in terms of performance.  Improvements to the online customer experience, combined with competitive pricing and better returns policies have increased the number of visits to the sites that are being converted into sales. All of this has contributed to higher than average year on year growth rates for this sector.

Mike Petevinos, Head of Consulting for Retail for Capgemini UK, said:
The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index reveal a 16% year on year growth for online spending, ahead of our 12% forecasts for the second half of the year.
The key drivers of this growth are clothing, accessories and electricals. Consumers continue to see the benefits of greater choice, price competitiveness and convenience from buying online in these sectors. It is no coincidence that in these sectors retailers are making the greatest strides to improve their online offer, with improved visuals, enhanced product information, more convenient delivery and return models and an increasing use of web 2.0 techniques.”

Tina Spooner, Director of Information at IMRG added:
“The seasonal monthly dip in web sales is in line with similar trends seen in recent years for the month of August and the yearly growth of 16% is actually higher than recorded in August last year.

The continued annual growth in the online retail market is evidence that this medium is withstanding the challenges of the economic downturn and the retailers that continue to expand and improve their online presence will no doubt reap the benefits during the festive trading period.”


% Change Month on Month

% Change Year on Year

Total Market



Beers, Wines and Spirits



Clothing, Footwear and Accessories



 - Accessories



 - Footwear









Health and Beauty







For further information please contact:
Melissa Au – 020 7025 6417 /
Mike Stuart – 020 7025 6518 /

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. The Group relies on its global delivery model called Rightshore®, which aims to get the right balance of the best talent from multiple locations, working as one team to create and deliver the optimum solution for clients. Present in more than 30 countries, Capgemini reported 2008 global revenues of EUR 8.7 billion and employs over 90,000 people worldwide. 

More information is available at the Capgemini UK website

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.

Over one hundred e-retailers regularly contribute data to the IMRG Capgemini Index, including Airport Parking & Hotels Ltd, Arcadia Group (Burton, Top Man, Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Wallis, Miss Selfridge), Ascension (formerly,,,,, Black Essentials, Blacks,,, Boots Direct, Brora,, Carphone Warehouse, Charles Tyrwhitt,  Clarks, Cloggs, Comet, Co-operative Travel,,, Damart, Daxon, Debenhams, Dobbies,, Ethical Superstore,, Firebox, First Choice, Freemans Grattan Holdings, Furniture123, Game, Gameplay, Gamestation, Getting,,, Holiday Extras, Home & Cook, Interflora, JD Sports, J D Williams, Jack Wills, Jason Shankey, John Lewis Partnership,, La Magia, La Redoute,, Lighting-Direct, LK Bennett,, M and M Direct, Made in Sheffield, Marks & Spencer, Millets, Monster Travel, Musto, Naked Wines,, New Look, Next, Peacocks, Perfect Handbags,, PIXmania,, QED-UK, QVC, R C Roland, Redcats UK, Redfoot Revolution, Retro36, Richer Sounds, Rubber Sole, Scales Express,, Shop Direct Home Shopping, Schuh, Serenata Flowers, Shudoo,, SockShop,, Wine, Tesco Electrical, The Fragrance Shop, The Health Supermarket, The Natural Store, TUI UK, Turton Wines, Vertbaudet, Vie at Home, Waitrose, Wallace Sacks and Wilkinson Hardware.

Quotes from retailers:

Commenting on the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, Cameron McLean, PayPal’s General Manager for UK merchant services: “Despite this month’s figures showing a seasonal dip in online shopping, retailers shouldn’t be too disheartened. At PayPal, we saw an increase in order values in August 2009 compared with August 2008. Online retail has already seen phenomenal growth this year and our research shows that almost nine million people already shop on the net at least once a week and two in five of us say we’re shopping online more than we did a year ago. By the end of 2011 we are expected to spend at least one in every 14 pounds online, which would double our current annual online spending.”

Robin Terrell, Managing Director, John Lewis Direct, said:“Fashion online is one of the biggest business opportunities for John Lewis over the next three years and there will be a significant step change in our customers’ shopping experience online. We want to mirror and exceed the growth that we’ve achieved in fashions in our 27 John Lewis branches, and ensure all the great niche brands in our stores are available to a much broader audience.”