IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index: Impact of Black Friday still apparent for online retail

| Press release
Knock-on effect of early Christmas discounting still being felt
  • 7% growth for the online retail market in January
  • High ticket items feel impact of Black Friday discounts; electrical and home & garden down 9%
  • Travel sector takes off with 21% growth; highest January increase since 2011
  • Cold weather and new lines give clothing welcome boost; accessories up 40%


London - According to the latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, the impact of Black Friday continues to be felt moving into 2015, with sales up 7% year-on-year. While this is well short of IMRG and Capgemini’s 12% forecast for the year, January 2015 comes off the back of particularly low December 2014 growth. What’s more, the 25% month-on-month decline recorded is in line with what would be expected at this time of year.

Revealingly, the Index illustrated the ripple effect of early discounting during Black Friday. Online sales of large ticket items within the electrical and home & garden sectors, which saw the biggest discounts in November, both recorded a 9% drop on January 2014.

However, a number of other sectors reported a more promising start to the year. Thanks to the cold weather, plus the introduction of many new lines, clothing saw a 14% year-on-year increase; accessories and footwear surged 40% and 20% respectively.

The travel sector also recorded a strong January, with online sales reaching 21% year-on-year; a 183% surge on December, and a four year high for this period.

British shoppers spent on average £81 per transaction in January, the highest average basket value seen in this month since January 2011.

Alex Smith-Bingham, Head of Digital, Consumer Products and Retail, Capgemini, commented:January’s Index shows that we have entered 2015 with steady growth in e-retail sales, with a shift in spending to categories such as travel, which offered differentiated promotions in January compared to previous months.

“However, growth is being held back slightly by other categories, such as electrical and home & garden, which have seen sluggish sales since Black Friday. This suggests that the Black Friday ‘hangover’ has continued into 2015, dampening the traditional sales spike in key, high value categories during the January sales.”

Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer, at IMRG said: “The knock-on effect of Black Friday is clearly continuing to be seen for online retailers with the Index recording single-digit annual growth for the second consecutive month. Though the January growth rate seems low, this is directly connected to the record low increase of 5% seen in December. Interestingly the average basket value of £81 is the highest we’ve seen during January in four years – suggesting that there was less discounting this January as retailers shifted much of their stock over the Black Friday peak.

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