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Brexit fails to halt record online retail sales growth


The quarterly period immediately after the Brexit vote saw the strongest online sales growth in over two years, according to new data.

The latest IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index revealed overall online retail sales grew by 17 per cent for the three months after the EU referendum took place in late June, the highest quarterly growth since the first quarter of 2014.

That figure was boosted by a 16 per cent year-on-year growth in September alone.

Sales growth for the clothing sector maintained what has been a generally positive performance so far in 2016, with an uptick of 15 per cent throughout the third quarter this year.

READ MORE: August online sales soar by 16%

However, it was the lowest year-on-year growth for this sector since April 2016.

The home and garden sector went up 21 per cent year-on-year in September, marking 11 consecutive months of positive growth. 

IMRG managing director Justin Opie said that while the growth for the third quarter was the strongest recorded in two-and-a-half years, it was building on a lower base of 9.6 per cent during the same period last year. 

“Nonetheless, online sales growth post-Brexit has remained strong – this may in part have been driven by increases in international shoppers buying from retailers’ sites, so they can pay in sterling and get maximum benefit from the sharp shifts in currency we have seen over the past few months,” he said.

READ MORE: Discounting encourages 19 per cent online sales growth

Capgemini retail customer engagement consultant Bhavesh Unadkat said it was “encouraging to see that consumer confidence remains strong”.

“However, a weak pound and an action plan on the horizon for Brexit is cause for concern and could well have a negative effect on confidence,” he said.

“Across the sectors fashion did not perform as strongly as recent months, impacted by a warm and relatively dry September which certainly dampened autumn and winter sales. 

“Interestingly, beyond the traditional sectors that we monitor for, we’ve noticed that food performed strongly as the price war between the grocers intensifies.”

The IMRG Capgemini Index started in April 2000 and tracks online sales, defined as transactions completed fully via interactive channels from any location, including in-store. 

Over one hundred e-retailers regularly contribute data to index.

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Published on Wednesday 19 October by Elias Jahshan

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