IMRG reports steep rise in online sales

The UK online retail sector has experienced its strongest level of annual growth since November 2013, climbing 18% in August, according to new figures from IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

It said an estimated £8.1 billion was spent online, with much of the growth driven by a particularly impressive performance from the clothing sector, which saw an annual growth of 20%; double the growth that was recorded in June and July (10%).

The accessories sub-sector saw an even greater increase, a significant 60% year-on-year, which could be attributed to shoppers splashing out on last-minute holiday essentials during the holiday high-season, the report noted.

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IMRG chief policy and operations office Andrew McClelland commented: “A cold spell during August combined with the launch of Autumn/Winter 2014 clothing ranges boosted e-retail growth.

"Interestingly, the High Street brands continued to perform particularly strongly. Overall Index growth of 18% sees us on target to exceed the earlier expectations of growth for 2014. A £100 billion year is certain to be exceeded in 2014.”

Vice president and Digital Services leader Alex Smith-Bingham said: “August’s results revealed a real spark in the confidence of the British consumer, with an increase in spend on clothing accessories, such as sandals and other holiday essentials, but a drop in the staycation spend on the home. It will be interesting to see whether there will be a significant uptick in little luxuries around the home during the autumn months now the majority of holidaymakers have returned home.”

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