London, 2016-Oct-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — HELEN DICKINSON OBE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, BRITISH RETAIL CONSORTIUM: “As with total sales, online saw an improvement on last month’s performance and fell back in line with the twelve-month average of above 10 per cent. Interestingly, for the first time online was a popular shopping destination for back- to school purchases, testament to retailers successfully ramping up their digital services and making it an integral part of the customer offer. Promotional activity in the toy category, which was September’s top performing category, also boosted online sales as the early birds were enticed to start their Christmas shopping.
“Online shopping is still the main source of sales growth for UK retailers, but popular services like click & collect and show rooming are significant drivers of online sales meaning physical stores still have a crucial role to play. Shoppers are more and more using a combination of the internet and high-street stores for the whole shopping journey; from browsing to the purchase itself. The result is that shops are increasingly becoming a destination to experience products rather than just to buy them.”
PAUL MARTIN, NEWLY APPOINTED HEAD OF RETAIL, KPMG: “With summer coming to an end and “back to school” the main event in September, online shopping growth accelerated in the month with non-food sales up 10.2 per cent compared to last year and penetration rates rising to 21.1 per cent.
“Children’s toys performed strongest in terms of growth, no doubt spurred on by notable promotions from some of the major retailers in this sector. Likewise, health and beauty, furniture and home accessories all experienced a ringing at e-checkouts, as consumers looked to bag a bargain in the end of season sales.
“Compared to a dreary performance on the high-street, women’s fashion performed well online. However, footwear didn’t stand up to the success observed in-store, notably the only category which saw a decline online this month. Nevertheless, all eyes will be fixed on maintaining online sales momentum between now and Black Friday – the next major e-tail moment in the 2016 calendar.”