UK online retail market grew just 7% in January, clothing sales up
The impact of Black Friday (November 28 2014) continues to be felt into 2015, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-retail sales index. Sales were up just 7% year-on-year in January as the month comes off the back of particularly low December growth. What’s more, the 25% month-on-month decline recorded is in line with what would be expected at this time of year, says the IMRG.
Early discounting during Black Friday created a ripple effect. Large-ticket items within the electronic and home & garden sectors saw the biggest discounts in November, but both recorded a 9% year-on-year sales drop in January.
However, the apparel market did well, thanks to cold weather and the introduction of new lines, with clothing sales up 14% year-on-year. Footwear sales rose 20% and accessories sales rocketed by 40%.
On average, British customers spent £81 per transaction in January, the highest average basket value seen in this month since January 2011.
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."
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."
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