Online sales of non-food grew 14.3 per cent in February year-on-year as consumers shopped from their sofas to avoid one of the wettest winters on record.
The data from the BRC- KPMG online retail sales monitor showed that, excluding online, non-food store sales would have declined in February in half of categories including clothing, footwear and other non-food stores.
“These figures underline the importance of retailers’ omnichannel offers, with online sales boosting what would otherwise have been declining sales figures for half of all categories,” commented Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium.
Over the last three month, online sales represented 40 per cent of total non-food retail growth.
But overall retail sales dropped 1 per cent on a like-for-like basis after a strong January when they rose 3.9 per cent.
A number of retailers commented that shoppers went shopping online rather than brave the storms and floods to go to the shops, notably in the South and South-West.
“The online performance of furniture & flooring went from strength to strength in the past few months. In February, online furniture & flooring posted its highest growth, contribution to monthly growth and penetration rate since our series began,” said Anne Alexandre, Senior Analyst, BRC. “As online sales growth was stronger than store sales growth, the proportion of sales made online increased by 3.2 percentage points to reach a record 33.5%.”
Meanwhile, a recent Industrial & Logistics Market report revealed that take-up increased by 24 per cent to 94.2 sq ft in industrial and logistics spaces in 2013. The report estimated that the burgeoning popularity of online shopping will drive demand for industrial and logistics property to record levels this year.