BRC-KPMG Online Retail Sales December 2014: Sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 7.0% in December versus a year earlier

LONDON, 2015-1-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 7.0% in December versus a year earlier. In December 2013, online sales rose by 19.2% over the previous year. In December, online sales represented 17.0% of total Non-Food sales, against 16.0% in December 2013.

Health & Beauty and Household Appliances were the fastest growing categories online in December. The month started strongly with Cyberweek and ended strongly in the sales week but sales were soft in between, reaching a low the week before Christmas.

Online sales contributed 1.2 percentage points to the growth of Non-Food total sales in December. The 3-month average contribution of online to Non-Food growth exceeded that of stores for the fourth consecutive month.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “Despite Black Friday having dragged some of our pre-Christmas internet spending into November, sales online remained strong with December showing a seven per cent increase on the same period last year. This is especially good considering December 2013 saw the second highest growth ever recorded by our monitor.

“All product categories saw an increase in online purchases this month, showing that consumers’ burgeoning appetite to buy things on their computers, tablets and mobiles isn’t restricted to a single type of product. The numbers also show that all of the growth in non-food sales in December came from digital channels. However, in the same period we saw bricks-and-mortar stores holding their ground, which is a testament to how the UK’s retailers have finessed their multi-channel offer – with the huge expansion in Click and Collect underpinning this.

“Although the busiest weeks for online shopping were predictably the week following Black Friday – ‘Cyberweek’ – and the Boxing Day sales, the popularity of click and collect meant shoppers continued to buy online throughout December. This data is sure to spur retailers on to continue to perfect their multi-channel offering in 2015.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “The parcel backlogs caused by the aftermath of Black Friday forced some retailers to renege on their delivery guarantees and this impacted shoppers’ confidence to buy gifts online in December. Having hit the internet hard in November, as Christmas neared closer some consumers chose to shop in store to make sure they had their gifts in their hand and not in the mail.

“However, even against this challenging backdrop nearly one in five gifts were still bought online, and there is still growth to come from this channel. The main factor constraining online is the retailers themselves: their systems still show signs of strain at peak times and they need to be able to cope from order to delivery.”

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP.
020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.