• £5.2bn spent online during August
  • Back to school boosts clothing sales 22% year-on-year

The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index have revealed that British shoppers spent £5.2bn online in August, a year-on-year growth of 14%, but a 6% fall on July. However, this decline between July and August is a seasonal trend, and the results in August 2011were much stronger than in preceding years; during the same period in 2010 and 2009, sales fell by 8% and 10% respectively. The last two weeks in August saw an improvement in e-retail sales, driven by the ‘Clothes Footwear and Accessories’ sector, which can be attributed to back to school purchases. In contrast to the overall index results, the clothing sector continues to grow, seeing a 22% year-on-year rise as shoppers update their wardrobes in preparation for autumn and to take advantage of the late summer sales.

Other sectors that bucked the trend include ‘Home & Garden’, which reported a strong year-on-year growth (40% August 2010 – August 2011), suggesting that, rather than purchasing expensive holidays, people stayed put this summer and invested in sprucing up the home. This is supported by the figures from the ‘Travel’ sector, which grew just 3% year-on-year in August – a stark contrast to the 14% growth reported in August 2010.

The riots in the second week of the month did not seem to have had a significant impact on e-retail sales, as they typically dip in mid-August. It appears the riots were not widespread or prolonged enough to have an effect.

Chris Webster, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini says: “August is a tough month for e-retail but this year saw a smaller decline thanks to the solid figures for retailers selling both online and in store. However, it’s worth noting that with such a strong performance during the first half of 2011, it’s a big ask for e-retail sales to maintain such rapid growth.”

Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG, comments: “As seen in recent months, the Index continues to show that consumer spending on higher-ticket purchases is slowing. Although travel sales were up just 3% year-on-year, consumers who did purchase holidays and flights online in August spent on average 44% more than the same month last year.

“Fashion-conscious consumers are one of the key growth drivers in the UK e-retail sector, with clothing sales continuing to outperform the total online retail market. Year-to-date the online clothing sector has grown 27%, with sales of accessories soaring 56% in the same period. Between January and August the total UK e-retail market grew 17%, when compared with the same period in 2010, with Britons having spent an estimated £41.9bn shopping online.”

IMRG Capgemini eRetail Index for August 2011

Industry quotes
Russ Carroll, UK Managing Director of Shopping.com, comments: “Drinks and DIY tools showed strong growth in August, implying Brits were making the most of the summer months to entertain and make home improvements. Clothing once more showed incredible year on year growth, a sign of the huge strides made by fashion retailers in making clothes shopping online as enjoyable as it is on the high street.

Notes to Editors
About IMRG

IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) is the industry association for global e-retail. Formed in 1990, IMRG is setting and maintaining pragmatic and robust e-retail standards to enable fast-track industry growth, and facilitates its community of members with practical help, information, tools, guidance and networking. Consumers can be confident when dealing with IMRG Members because all interact in an environment where they are encouraged to operate using methods that are Honest, Decent, Legal, Truthful and Fair, and have undertaken to not bring the industry into disrepute. The strength of IMRG is the collective and cooperative power of its members.
For more information please visit http://www.imrg.org/ or email membership@imrg.org

About Capgemini
With around 115,000 people in 40 countries, Capgemini is one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services. The Group reported 2010 global revenues of EUR 8.7 billion. Together with its clients, Capgemini creates and delivers business and technology solutions that fit their needs and drive the results they want. A deeply multicultural organization, Capgemini has developed its own way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM, and draws on Rightshore ®, its worldwide delivery model.
Learn more about us at www.capgemini.com.
Rightshore® is a trademark belonging to Capgemini

About the ‘IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index’
The IMRG Capgemini Index, which was started in April 2000, tracks ‘online sales’, which we define as ‘transactions completed fully, including payment, via interactive channels’ from any location, including in-store.  These sales are predominantly internet-based today, but the Index remains ready to record e-retail sales conducted via whatever interactive channels the market may embrace in the future.

Around one hundred e-retailers now regularly contribute data to the IMRG Capgemini Index, including Airport Parking & Hotels Ltd, Amara, Arcadia Group (Burton, Top Man, Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Wallis, Miss Selfridge), Ask Direct, ASOS.com, Bank, Beautique.com, Berry Bros & Rudd,  Binends.com, Blacks, Boden.co.uk, Boohoo.com, Boots Direct, Brandosa.co.uk, Brora, Buyagift.com, BuyItDirect.co.uk, Carphone Warehouse, Charles Tyrwhitt,  Clarks, Cloggs, Co-operative Travel, Crocus.co.uk, Dabs.com, Damart, Debenhams, Ethical Superstore, Figleaves.com, Firebox, First Choice, Freemans Grattan Holdings, Furniture123, Game, Gameplay, Gamestation, Getting Personal.co.uk, Greenfingers.com, Home & Cook, House of Fraser, JD Sports, J D Williams, John Lewis Partnership, Ladderstore.com, Lastminute.com, LK Bennett, Lookfantastic.com, Lyco Direct, M and M Direct, Marks & Spencer, Matalan, Millets, My Tuxedo, Naked Wines, NaturalCollection.com, New Look, Next, Peacocks, Perfect Handbags, PetPlanet.co.uk, Philip Kingsley, PIXmania, Prezzybox.com, QVC, Redfoot Revolution, Richer Sounds, Sainsbury’s, Scales Express, Schuh, Scott, Shoe-Shop.com, Shop Direct Home Shopping (Additions, Great Universal, Kays, Littlewoods, Empire, Woolworths,Very, Isme), Serenata Flowers, Size, Shedstore, Sofa and Home, Sunshine.co.uk, Sun-Togs, Tesco.com, The Fragrance Shop, The Health Supermarket, The Natural Store, TUI UK, Turton Wines, Waitrose, Warehouse, Wilkinson Hardware & Wynsors World of Shoes.