UK consumers spent £4.9 billion online last month, the equivalent of £79 per person, according to new research.
February’s e-Retail Sales Index from IMRG & Capgemini shows that compared to the same month last year, overall spend via the internet was up 20 per cent.
In stark contrast to high street trade which has struggled since the new year, online sales in the first two months of 2011 have totalled £10 billion, well above expectations.
Chris Webster, Head of Retail Consulting and Technology at Capgemini, commented: “This increase is on the back of a very solid second half to 2010 and whilst some of the growth can be attributed to a weak start last year, nearly £5 billion spent online is very significant and in stark contrast to the weak sales experienced by the traditional bricks and mortar retailers.”
Rising demand for fashion online continued in the month, with clothing, footwear & accessory sales up 34 per cent year-on-year and, despite competing against the new year sales period, up six per cent compared to January.
Accessory sales alone rose 57 per cent compared to 2010 and footwear sales jumped 28 per cent year-on-year and 11 per cent month-on-month.
Speaking about his company’s performance, Head of Online Selling at John Lewis Jonathan Brown said: “Fashion led the way, outperforming 2010 by over 50 per cent.
“There were notable sales from womenswear which was up over 70 per cent with outstanding performances from Hobbs, LK Bennett and Kaliko.
“It was also great to see accessories and beauty exceed last year’s sales by over 70 per cent and women’s shoes selling particularly well.”
Cameron McLean, General Manager for Merchant Services at Paypal UK, claims that 30 per cent of the most frequent shoppers now buy all or most of their clothes online and over half buy at least some of their clothes on the net.
The product sector which saw the biggest rise month-on-month in February however was beer, wines & spirits which rose 37 per cent compared to January and 25 per cent compared to the same month last year.
Other top performers included home & garden products and electrical items which grew 37 per cent and 22 per cent respectively year-on-year.