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UK online sales benefit from sun and World Cup

By Retail Technology | Tuesday June 17 2014

The latest e-retail sales index reveals that the UK online retail sector grew 20% in May, influenced by good weather and World Cup anticipation

With an estimated £8.2 billion spent this May, online retail sales in the UK grew by 17% year-on-year and by 20% if travel sales are excluded.

The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index reveal that the sales of electrical items is up 19% year-on-year (YOY) in May and see a spike of 30% in June, based on previous figures recorded during major summer football tournaments.

The influence of sport

The previous World Cup in 2010 and the European Championships in 2012, resulted in an increase of 26% and 35% respectively, as football fans upgraded their TVs to watch their teams play.

“This month, the index has illustrated just how influential large sporting events can have on the retail sector and how World Cup fever has well and truly gripped the UK,” said Chris Webster, VP and head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini. “This has resulted in an increase in the sale of electrical items which will have grown further in the first half of the month. Just how long that growth continues may well depend on how far England progress through the tournament.”

Sunny spell drives sales

The clothing and gardening sectors also recorded a strong performance in May, which the report puts down to the spell of dry and warm weather during the latter half of the month. 

Sales in the clothing sector were up 19% YOY. Accessories performed particularly well, with a 30% YoY increase. Promises of a good summer have also reportedly helped boost the garden sector, reaching 20% YoY as shoppers prepare themselves for BBQs and garden parties.
“The impressive 20% year-on-year performance is well ahead of our 2014 growth forecast,” said Tina Spooner, CIO of IMRG. “Consumers are also spending more when shopping online with the average basket value in May reaching £88, the highest level recorded in two years.”

“As with all major sporting events, retailers are gearing up for the World Cup and over the coming weeks we expect to see a surge in sales of televisions and home entertainment systems, as football fans hope to see England progress to the final stages of the competition from the comfort of their own homes”.

Over 100 retailers
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.  

Over 100 e-retailers now regularly contribute data to the IMRG Capgemini Index, including Arcadia Group (Burton, Top Man, Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Wallis, Miss Selfridge), Ask Direct,, B&Q,, Boots Direct, Carphone Warehouse, First Choice, John Lewis Partnership, Marks & Spencer, Matalan, New Look, Sainsbury’s, Schuh, Shop Direct Home Shopping (Brand Quarter, Kays, Littlewoods, Very, Isme, Woolworths), and The Body Shop.

Earlier this month, the latest IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking Report showed that online shopping via smartphones and tablets had grown by almost one third in a single quarter. 

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