Trade Resources Industry Views British Retail Consortium Releases Online Retail Sales Monitor Figures for April 2014

British Retail Consortium Releases Online Retail Sales Monitor Figures for April 2014

British Retail Consortium releases online retail sales monitor figures for April 2014.

BRC-KPMG Non-Food Retail Sales Year-on-Year Growth:
In contrast with March, the fashion categories growth were negatively affected by the Easter break – which fell in April this year as opposed to March last year. Clothing came bottom of the rankings table and recorded its lowest contribution since our online monitor began in December 2012. As for stores, demand in the Children’s segment was better than for Women’s. As a proportion of total sales, Online was almost unchanged compared to last year, at 22.0%.

Stores Enjoy Easter Sales Boost Over Online
-Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 11.2% in April versus a year earlier. In April 2013, they had increased by 6.3% over the previous year.
-In April, online sales represented 16.1% of total Non-Food sales of our Monitor, against 15.9% in April 2013. April’s penetration is the lowest recorded by our monitor since last April, an effect of the Easter distortion.
-The Other Non-Food category contributed almost 80% of the growth, followed for the first time by Furniture, a category helped by the Easter break, which recorded its best contribution since our monitor began in December 2012. In contrast, Easter led Clothing to record its smallest contribution since the start of the monitor.
-Online sales contributed 0.5 percentage points to the growth of Non-Food total sales, the lowest contribution since March 2013.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said, “Online sales have grown steadily over the last year with a twelve month average change of 12.7 per cent year on year which is testament to the great British online retail offering. However the April 2014 growth of 11.2 per cent against 12.8 per cent in March shows that, when an opportunity like the Easter holiday arises, customers like to enjoy a great experience in store.

“Retailers know that customers want to experience shopping across all channels and have risen to the challenge of using digital technology to draw customers into new format stores where everything is available at the touch of a button.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said, “While the Easter break helped the high street, the sunshine proved to be something of a distraction to the online channel, which saw sales slow, with just over 16 per cent of non-food items bought online.  While this is a fall on previous months’ levels, it is an expected blip and reminds us that when the sun shines and people are on holiday, they are still attracted by the theatre of the store.  Now the Easter bank holiday season has passed, I expect online sales to continue unabated.”

In April, Non-Food Online sales recorded their lowest growth year to date at 11.2%. The slowdown is an expected effect of the Easter break, as people tend to go to the stores for home and family shopping. Despite this, growth remained robust, not far below the 12-month average of 12.7%.

As a result of the Easter effect, the proportion of online sales as a percentage of total Non-Food sales was 16.1%, the lowest recorded since last April. The contribution of Online to Non-Food sales was 0.5 percentage point, the lowest since March 2013.

The fashion categories came bottom of the growth table and recorded their lowest contribution since our monitor began in December 2012. Furniture in contrast recorded its best contribution, while Other Non-Food represented almost 80% of the growth.

We have now cleared distortions due to the timing of holidays and the current months should be easier to read in terms of trend.

According to a new report by Qubit, the average value of each online order in London is £268 compared to just over £100 for internet shoppers around the rest of the country, while the conversion rate is lower, at 2.0% in London compared to 2.3% elsewhere.

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