Non-Food products online sales in UK up 6.6% in March 2017 vs 2016’s March, BRC – KPMG

London, 2017-Apr-12 — /EPR Retail News/ —


Covering the five weeks 26 February – 1 April 2017

  • Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 6.6% in March versus a year earlier, when they had increased by 9.5%. This is the lowest growth since August, below the 3-month and 12-month averages of 7.4% and 9.0% respectively but is negatively distorted by the timing of Easter.
  • Over the 3 months to March, Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 7.4% year-on-year, the lowest since May 2013. Over the same period, Total Non-Food sales in the UK fell by 0.8%, the second consecutive month of 3-month average decline
  • In March 2017, Online sales represented 22.0% of total Non-Food sales in the UK, against 20.9% in March 2016. On a 3-month basis, penetration rate was 22.3%.
  • Over the 3 months to March, Online sales contributed 1.7 percentage points to the year-on-year growth of Total Non-Food sales. In contrast, In-Store sales made a negative 3-month contribution of 2.5 percentage points. In March, Online sales contributed 1.2 percentage points to Non-Food growth
  • Over the 3 months to March, In-Store sales fell, posting declines of 3.0% on a total basis and 3.4% on a like-for-like basis. For the month of March, In-Store sales showed a decline, exaggerated by the timing of Easter.


“Online non-food sales growth in March was dampened by the later timing of Easter this year. Those products historically popular with shoppers over the long weekend, notably larger homeware items, took a hit but will feel the benefit during April instead. Health and beauty products on the other hand, achieved the strongest sales growth of all categories thanks to gift purchases for Mother’s Day, while gaming and electricals continue to be online bestsellers as customers are enticed with new product launches.

“Retailers continue to innovate and invest in their digital offers to attract customers amidst the intense competition. Mobile optimisation has been the focus for many and some are already reaping the benefits of higher conversion rates as customers enjoy speedier browsing activity. Meanwhile, for fashion retailers, new free delivery initiatives have successfully driven increased loyalty from those customers who sign up.”


“Online retail sales in March fared better than the high street, with non-food sales up 6.6 per cent in the month. That said, we haven’t seen growth this low since August last year and the timing of Easter is likely to have had an impact. Demand in UK retail is also showing signs of slowing down more broadly.

“Most categories did note growth in the month however, with health and beauty performing particularly well. It is likely Mother’s Day provided a helping hand, and with temperatures being milder than usual for the month, shoppers were also shrugging off the shackles of winter. Fashion sales also proved especially popular, with spring collections seemingly striking the right chord with shoppers.

“The later timing of Easter is likely to have contributed to the sluggish furniture and homeware sales in the month.  Interest in these categories will probably pick-up in the coming month, with the holiday providing an opportunity for home improvements.

“It remains to be seen if the slowdown in online sales is just a temporary blip or a more significant occurrence.”

BRC Press Office
TELEPHONE: + 44 (0) 20 7854 8924

Source: BRC

BRC-KPMG: Online sales of Non-Food products in UK grew 12.3% in March versus a year earlier

– Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 12.3% in March versus a year earlier, when it had risen by 12.8% over the previous year. This month’s growth is the best since October 2014 and is in line with the 12-month average of 12.1%. In March 2015, online sales represented 17.6% of total Non-Food sales, against 16.9% in March 2014.

– Furniture, a category which typically performs well at Easter, achieved its best performance since the inception of this monitor in December 2012 and was second fastest growing category online. This was followed closely by Toys & Baby Equipment which benefited from the school half term.

– Online sales contributed 1.4 percentage points to the growth of Non-Food total sales in March. Thanks to the preference for store shopping over Easter, the 3-month average contribution of stores to Non-Food growth exceeded that of online for the first time since August 2014.

LONDON, 2015-4-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “Branded goods proved popular in March with consumers buying in the new ranges. With full price items whizzing off the online shelves this questions the view that people mainly shop online purely to get a bargain. We are seeing an interesting trend with brands seeking to be sold through retailers’ established high quality websites, leveraging their success with consumers.

“The steady advance of online sales and the continuation of a strong penetration rate is good for retailers with an online presence, considering people tend to spend more of their money on the high street in the run up to Easter. Furniture sales did particularly well reflecting consumer confidence in investing in big ticket items. As we move into Spring retailers will view March’s online figures as highly promising.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: Good weather and the long Easter break saw shoppers choose shops over screens as they hit the high street and enjoyed the sunshine.

Many retailers used this trend to their advantage, launching digital campaigns to drive footfall in stores by tempting shoppers in with emails promoting new ranges and money off vouchers.

This demand led approach proves that online and in store are simply two sides of the same coin for a successful retailer.

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900.


LONDON, 2014-11-11— /EPR Retail News/ — Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 15.4% in October versus a year earlier, almost in line with the twelve-month average growth of 14.8%. In October 2013, online sales rose by 12.1% over the previous year.

In October online sales represented 18.2% of total Non-Food sales of our Monitor, against 16.5% in October 2013. This is the highest penetration rate since Christmas 2013.

In contrast with stores, where Clothing and Footwear recorded a decline in October, the fashion categories achieved a good performance online, as a result of targeted incentives by retailers.

Online sales contributed 2.1 percentage points to the growth of Non-Food total sales in October. The three-month average contribution of online to non-food growth exceeded that of stores for the second consecutive month, achieving an all-time record proportion outside of December.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “Online sales took their largest slice of the pie of non-food sales growth since December 2013. October’s growth compared to last year was 3.3 percentage points faster, which bodes well for Christmas, especially as the proportion of online non-food sales was also the highest recorded since last Christmas.

“October saw many actions to encourage the sale of winter stock. Concurrent flash sales were run in-store and online. Loyal customers were offered exclusive discounts and due to this Clothing and Footwear did better online than in stores. As we march steadily on to the festive season online retail sales are set to increase, for example online Christmas shops are proving popular. ‘Mega Monday’, the first Monday in December, is one to watch as it is generally thought to be the biggest day for online shopping. However, retailers’ investment in ever-faster deliveries means that Mega Monday could be shifted closer to Christmas this year.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “Retailers proved themselves fleet of foot online, launching highly targeted offers to offset the unseasonal weather and give consumers that extra impetus to spend.

“It’s evidence that retailers can use their online operations to quickly react to unexpected factors, such as a heat wave at Halloween, and adapt their sales strategy to offer shoppers the products that are relevant to them. This flexibility isn’t a guaranteed failsafe, but it certainly gives retailers more options than their store portfolio can offer.

“With Black Friday and Christmas ahead, the online channel’s importance will be felt more than ever in the coming weeks.”

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900.


LONDON, 2014-11-11— /EPR Retail News/ — UK retail sales were flat, at 0.0%, on a like-for-like basis from October 2013, when they had increased 0.8% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 1.4%, against a 2.6% rise in October 2013. This was an improvement on the previous month and beat the three-month average growth of 1.0%.

Furniture and the home categories were the best performing ones in October.

Over the last three months, Food showed a decline of 1.4% and reported a twelve-month average decline for the second consecutive month, at -0.4%. Non-Food reported growth of 2.8% over the three months to October 2014, underperforming its twelve-month average of 3.7%.

Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 15.4% in October versus a year earlier, when it had grown 12.1%. This was the highest online growth since Christmas 2013. The Non-Food online penetration rate was 18.2% in October, 1.7 percentage points higher than in October 2013.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “The good news is that overall retail sales continued to grow although not as fast as this time last year. Retailers have thought creatively about marketing solutions to incentivise sales of winter merchandise during the warmer weather. For example the use of analytics has enabled loyal customers to be offered targeted flash reductions with sale items being made available both in store and online.

“Consumers are still prioritising household items such as furniture over fashion, with furniture outperforming all other categories for a second month in a row. Retailers preparation around stocking items required for Halloween celebrations such as costumes of characters from animation feature films for children, meant a significant year on year increase in Halloween related sales. The impact was also felt with an improved three month average in sales of food although not enough to stem the trend felt over the last six months. It remains to be seen whether the Christmas period will start to provide better fortunes for food, however there are positive signs that beauty and homeware items traditionally popular for gifting are selling increasingly well in the build-up to the festive period.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “Looking at these figures, most retailers will feel they were tricked rather than treated in October. Even the most experienced of shopkeepers could not have foreseen a heat wave at Halloween and most were left with sales which were flat at best.

“Sadly, this warmer weather has left many fashion retailers with a substantial stock overhang, raising the question of earlier and deeper discounts as we get closer to Christmas. Retailers need a nippy November to help them sell their winter stock before the season’s out.

“Promotions remained rife in the grocery sector, leaving it with the unenviable moniker of the worst performing sector. The silver lining for the sector is that the 3 month average like-for-likes, whilst still negative, were not as bad as in September which will be welcome relief in the midst of negative news.

“With Christmas in their sights, retailers are launching their highly anticipated festive campaigns to connect with and inspire consumers to shop with them this year. All channels will be tested to the full over the coming weeks with a careful eye monitoring the margins.”

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900.