BRC-KPMG: Non-Food online sales in UK grew 6.5% in August vs a year earlier

– Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 6.5% in August versus a year earlier, when it had risen by 19.8% over the previous year, the strongest growth of 2014. This represents the slowest online growth since April 2013.

– In August 2015, online sales represented 17.2% of total Non-Food sales, against 16.3% in August 2014.

– All categories continued to show online growth despite experiencing a slowdown, with Household Appliances recording its slowest online growth since our records began in November.

– Online sales contributed 1.4 percentage points to the year-on-year change of Non-Food total sales in August. Without online, the August Non-Food decline would have been more severe.

LONDON, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “August was always going to be tough in comparison to last year which had seen the fastest growth since our online monitor started in November 2012, driven by very strong fashion sales. To make things worse, the summer bank holiday fell outside this month’s coverage, when a lot of people would have bought back-to-school clothes and back to university furnishings. Combined, those factors led to the slowest online growth for non-food since April 2013.

“Retailers continue to invest to offer a fast and good value online service and are now focusing even more on optimising delivery efficiency. For example, they are grouping multiple orders, offering next day delivery for a limited period or free delivery only above a certain basket size. This is being managed in what remains an extremely competitive environment where margins are under pressure from deflation in shop prices and rising operating costs. Consumers therefore are continuing to get great value.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “With the summer bank holiday delaying purchases and many consumers jetting off out of the UK in search of warmer climates, August saw a slowdown in e-commerce growth across almost all categories with non-food online sales up just 6.5 per cent versus 2014.
“Despite this, online penetration rates remain stable at 17.2 per cent and retailers will be hoping for cooler autumn weather to entice consumers back to the virtual aisles ahead of the Christmas rush.”

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