Sunshine boosts sales for online

| Press release
Latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, show that online retailers are continuing to draw in consumers, with 15% more spent in March compared to last year.

Latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, show that online retailers are continuing to draw in consumers, with 15% more spent in March compared to last year. An estimated £4.5 billion was spent online in the month, compared to £3.9 billion in 2009.

As winter relinquished its grip and in preparation for an early Easter, shoppers started to spruce up their homes and gardens in time for spring, with 42% more spent online in this sector in March. Brighter skies also encouraged consumers to invest in summer wardrobes, with sales of clothing growing by 27% compared to February this year.

The travel sector saw sales fall by 9% on February as the flurry of post Christmas summer and ski holiday bookings died down. Year-on-year sales rose by 14% - perhaps a sign that Brits are abandoning ‘staycations’ this year in favour of hotter climes as optimism in the economy picks up.


Chris Webster, Vice President, Retail Consulting and Technology, Capgemini, said: “These are solid figures, and prove the continued resilience of online retail. The retailers themselves, particularly those with both an online and a store presence, have fought hard to attract and retain customers, even in a period of political uncertainty.

“As the weather starts to improve, this is having an impact on sales of garden furniture as people plan for summer barbeques.”

Tina Spooner, Director of Information at IMRG added: “The 15% yearly growth in online sales is very positive and is evidence that e-retail continues to outperform the high street. The strength of the multichannel approach within e-retail is also reflected in the March Index results. There is a strong trend emerging showing that high street retailers with an online presence are playing an increasingly significant role in the e-retail sector.  Retailers with a diverse multichannel offering will no doubt continue to reap the rewards of their investment in the online space.”

The Index also reveals that retailers with both an online and a store presence are performing most strongly, with sales up by 28% year on year. Sales for retailers with a purely online presence are up by only 1% on March 2009.

Industry quotes:

Mark Astbury, General Manager for delivery service, Collect+ commented: “These March figures are a very welcome sign, buoyed by an early Easter and the recent good weather, which has benefitted fashion retailers in particular. The economic outlook, however, remains uncertain. The current flight embargo may affect future sales and it’s not unusual for 30 per cent of clothing and footwear purchases to be returned by savvy customers who prefer to try goods at home rather than in-store. To sustain growth, retailers must review all aspects of their business and it’s vital they develop effective returns processes, which ensure fast turnaround of stock for resale, mitigate cost and maintain customer satisfaction with simple, convenient and cost-effective solutions.”

Bruce Fair, Managing Director of Kelkoo UK, comments: “Spring really is in the air for the online retail sector as consumers revamp their wardrobes and kit themselves out in preparation for the summer months. This 15% surge in online sales is solid evidence that consumers really have learnt some valuable lessons from the financial downturn and more and more are shopping online to get the best deals.  In fact, we expect this rate of growth to continue throughout 2010 and predict that online sales could account for 10.5% of total retail spend by the end of the year.”

Cameron McLean, General Manager for Merchant Services at PayPal UK, said: “This level of year-on-year growth is great news for the online retail sector, and supports research PayPal conducted last year into the future of online shopping.  Our findings show that 37% of shoppers expected to increase the amount they spent online and a further third (34%) planned to do as much shopping online as possible in the future.  With technology advancing every day, especially mobile internet, we expect the 10 million of us who already shop online each week to increase significantly over the next year.”

Jonathon Brown, Head of Online Selling at John Lewis said: “March was another very good month for johnlewis.com, helped by continued strong sales in core categories, the effect of Easter and the sustained focus on driving forward our online Fashion business. Overall sales increased 48% on last year with great results across all areas of the assortment.  Most notable was fashion, which driven by new ranges such as the launch of Joe Casely-Hayford (exclusive to John Lewis) and other premium brands, continued to flourish and delivered a year on year increase of well over 100%. Also notable was our performance in core categories such as white goods and furniture both growing by over 20% from 2009.”

Iain Wilson, UK managing director of shopping.com, says: “We have seen a year-on-year increase in sales in our home and garden category of 51%, bolstered by a surge in sub categories such as garden and DIY, which have enjoyed an even bigger increase. The growth in the e-retail market signals shoppers are increasing in confidence, and looking to home improvements now that winter is behind us. ”

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 ExperienceTM. 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 2009 global revenues of EUR 8.4 billion and employs 90,000 people worldwide.

More information is available at www.uk.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.

Over one hundred e-retailers now regularly contribute data to the IMRG Capgemini Index, including Airport Parking & Hotels Ltd, Amara, Arcadia Group (Burton, Top Man, Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Wallis, Miss Selfridge), Ascension (formerly Adili.com), ASOS.com, Beautique.com, BeCheeky.com, Binends.com, Black Essentials, Blacks, Boden.co.uk, Boohoo.com, Boots Direct, Brora, Buyagift.com, BuyItDirect.co.uk, Carphone Warehouse, Charles Tyrwhitt,  Clarks, Cloggs, Comet, Co-operative Travel, Crocus.co.uk, Dabs.com, Damart, Daxon, Debenhams, Dobbies, e-flowersUK.co.uk, Ethical Superstore, Faith Shoes, Figleaves.com, Firebox, First Choice, Freemans Grattan Holdings, Furniture123, Game, Gameplay, Gamestation, Getting Personal.co.uk, GreatValueJewellery.com, Greenfingers.com, Holiday Extras, Home & Cook, House of Fraser, Interflora, JD Sports, J D Williams, Jack Wills, Jason Shankey, John Lewis Partnership, Ladderstore.com, La Redoute, Lastminute.com, Lighting-Direct, LK Bennett, Lookfantastic.com, M and M Direct, Made in Sheffield, Marks & Spencer, Millets, Monster Travel, Musto, Naked Wines, NaturalCollection.com, New Look, Next, Peacocks, Perfect Handbags, PetPlanet.co.uk, PIXmania, Prezzybox.com, QED-UK, QVC, R C Roland, Redcats UK, Redfoot Revolution, Richer Sounds, Rubber Sole, Sainsbury’s, Scales Express, Shoe-Shop.com, Shop Direct Home Shopping, Schuh, Serenata Flowers, Shedstore, Shudoo, Slurp.co.uk, SockShop, Sofa and Home, Sunshine.co.uk, Tesco.com, Tesco Electrical, The Fragrance Shop, The Health Supermarket, The Natural Store, The Present Room, The White Company, TUI UK, Turton Wines, Vertbaudet, Vie at Home, Waitrose, Wallace Sacks, Wilkinson Hardware and Winedirect.co.uk.


For further information please contact:
Flora Hancox – 020 7025 6576
(flora.hancox@redconsultancy.com)