Lingerie sales online grew 22% in February compared with the same month last year, according to new figures out today.
Valentine’s Day helped boost sales in this sector and other markets traditionally associated with romantic presents, according to the IMRG, the UK’s industry association for online retail.
Despite this promising result, many other retail sectors witnessed a slow start to the year, with overall online sales up just 6% in the year to February and down 12% on January, the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index shows.
IMRG chief information officer Tina Spooner said: “While the UK online retail market has seen a relatively weak start to the year, the latest results reveal a number of lower-ticket sectors performed well during February, including health & beauty, lingerie and gifts, which were no doubt boosted by Valentine’s Day.
“It is interesting to see that the high street/multichannel retailers have seen a stronger start to 2015 than their online-only counterparts, with online retail sales up 8% year-to-date, while the latter group have recorded just 2% year-on-year growth. However, looking at the mobile commerce performance of these two groups, it is clear that the pureplay merchants are ahead, with annual growth in sales via smartphones and tablets reaching an average of 89% over the past six months, almost three times the growth rate recorded by the multichannel retailers.”
Capgemini head of digital, consumer products and retail Alex Smith-Bingham commented: “February’s Index would suggest there has been little cheer to be had for retailers so far this year. Subsequent months will show whether this is a new pattern of steady muted growth or a blip. As we move into spring and out of the cold winter months, shoppers will be keen to update their wardrobes and make the most of the new clothing lines being introduced. As long as online retailers are prepared to make the most of the opportunity, we should see a gradual uplift begin in March.”