Online Christmas shopping set another record last month, with online spending
reaching £5.4 billion in November according to the ‘IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales
Index’ – the equivalent of approximately £89  spent online for every person in
the UK.  This was an increase of 22.5% compared to October 2007 and 65% higher
than the £3.2 billion recorded during November 2006.
  

Statistics released from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index highlight that
the internet is enabling consumers to shop right up to the last moment with online
Christmas shopping occurring much later this year than in previous years.  Week
on week online sales for the final quarter of each year 2003 – 2007 suggests that
the annual increase in the amount of money spent online occurred more sharply
in November compared to previous years, compensating for the lower than usual
increase in online shopping in October. In 2007 the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales
Index grew by 22.5% between October and November and had only 5.7% growth between
September and October, whereas in 2006 the index grew by 19.5% between October
and November and 13.7% between September and October. The first three weeks of
November showed a sharp increase of 10% growth week on week before stabilising
with just 1.5% growth in the final week of the month.

The purchase of gifts was the main driving factor behind the growth, with sales
soaring 70% in November compared to October.  Also driving the growth, and a sign
of festive excess, was the 62% growth in sales of beers, wines and spirits.  Online
sales of electrical goods grew 46% (highest ever growth in this sector), online
sales within the accessories sector grew 56% from October and lingerie 46%.

Sector
% Increase in IMRG Capgemini Index Oct-Nov

Gifts

70%

Beers, Wines and Spirits

62%

Health and Beauty

61%

Accessories

56%

Lingerie

46%

Electrical sector

46%

Clothing, Footwear and Accessories

10%

Total Market

22.5%

Anthoula Madden, Vice President at Capgemini UK’s Consumer Products and Retail
Team
says “With many e-retailers able to deliver on Christmas orders right up until
17th December, it is no surprise that consumers are choosing to shop much later
in the year.  Retailers need to be able to monitor their sales activity and be
prepared for this late surge in demand, ensuring that there is enough stock, storage
and delivery capacity to meet consumer needs.”

Jo Evans, MD of IMRG, said: “November’s IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index shows
another record month for online shopping and shows that consumers are really making
the most of the convenience and cost savings available through online shopping. 
We expect the online spend figure to be even higher next month as people do their
last minute shopping”. 

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Quotes from retailers

“Christmas kicked in with a vengeance in November for John Lewis Direct,” comments David Walmsley, Head of Web Selling, John Lewis Partnership.  “We
saw above target sales across larger items such as sofas and furniture, with home
technology out-performing expectations as well.  The week ending 8th December
was our biggest ever week, growing by a stunning 59%.  Over the week there were
2.7 million visits to the web site.  We know that many purchasers on johnlewis.com
have earlier researched their purchase in stores and similarly we know that many
customers purchasing in stores have used the web site to gain information on their
purchases.  The power of our multi-channel approach is clear for all to see and
a key reason behind the group’s wider success.”

Mark Newton-Jones, Chief Executive, Littlewoods Shop Direct Group, said: “We have seen online sales grow strongly throughout November and into
the first few weeks of December to levels well above last year.  Our online sales
participation has climbed to nearly 40% of our total sales in these weeks, up
from 27% last year.  We believe this is down to three factors: firstly, the extensive
improvements we have made in modernising our websites, second, our customers’
desire to have a hassle free shopping experience buying from home as opposed to
battling it out on the High Street and third, the growing confidence generally
amongst customers in online retailers’ ability to deliver in time for Christmas.”

Charles Burrows, Commercial Manager for Online & Direct Trading at Carphone Warehouse said: “Sales have been higher than last year in the run-up to Christmas.  Sales
have also peaked closer to Christmas, and this is driven by the increased promotion
of free gift offers we have undertaken through cpw.com in November/early December.”

Nicolas Kalmus, Sales Director at GreatValueJewellery.com, commented:  “GreatValueJewellery.com experienced a steady start to Christmas
online shopping during November, which took a significant leap towards the last
week of the month.  In comparison to last November, we saw our order numbers increase
by 50%.  Customers are certainly buying more online compared to last year.  We
believe this is due to higher levels of trust, online marketing awareness and
convenience.”

Kevin Hague, Managing Director of Petplanet.co.uk comments:  “November sales
exceeded our expectations with year-on-year growth of over 50%”.

Zak Edwards, Managing Director of Prezzybox.com said:  “Growth in November was fantastic, with Prezzybox.com showing a 44% increase
in value on November 2006.  For me this signifies growing consumer confidence
in the online sector as a whole – especially in issues of security – and also
in the fulfilment industry.  They are shopping with confidence, secure in the
knowledge that their goods are going to be delivered speedily and efficiently.”

Ulric Jérome, Managing Director – France, UK, Scandinavia, of Pixmania.com, advised:  “We at Pixmania.com had a very good month in November.  The month
was strong overall, however we saw a big jump in sales starting the weekend of
the 24th of November.  We increased our sales by more than 50% on the last week
of November compared to the week before.  This clearly reflects the starting date
of Christmas shopping.  The Christmas sales boost started earlier this year than
the year before.  Video Game consoles such as the Wii along with 32” to 40” flat
panel TVs and MP3 players were among our top big sellers.  19 million unique visitors
came to visit the Pixmania.com web site in November, an increase of 30% compared
to October.  Businesses also embrace the online experience!  Our B2B sales in
November on Pixmania-pro.com increased by more than 50% from last year.  Women
and ‘silver surfers’ (55 years old and more) were also very active on our web
site.  All of that confirms the ‘normalisation’ of internet shopping!”

About The Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG)

IMRG (Interactive Media In Retail Group) is the industry body 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 have committed 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 co-operative power of its members.

About Capgemini

Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and
outsourcing services, enables its clients to transform and perform through technologies.
Capgemini provides its clients with insights and capabilities that boost their
freedom to achieve superior results through a unique way of working, which it
calls the Collaborative Business Experience. Capgemini reported 2006 global revenues
of EUR 7.7 billion and employs 82,000 people worldwide.

More information is available at www.uk.capgemini.com

About the ‘IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index’

The IMRG Capgemini Index 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.

Approximately 60 e-retailers regularly contribute data to the IMRG Capgemini
Index, including:

Airport Parking & Hotels Ltd, Ancestral Collections, Arcadia Group, ASOS.com,
Avon Cosmetics, BeCheeky.com, Berry Bros. & Rudd, Boden.co.uk, Boots Direct,
Buyagift.com, Carphone Warehouse, Cloggs, Comet, Co-operative Group (CWS), Co-operative
Travel, Comet, Crocus.co.uk, dabs.com, Daxon, Debenhams, e-flowersUK.co.uk, EmpireDirect,
Figleaves.com, Firebox, Furniture123, Game.net, GreatValueJewellery.com, Greenfingers.com,
Interflora, I Want One of Those, J D Williams, Jason Shankey, John Lewis Department
Stores, La Redoute, lastminute.com, Littlewoods Retail, Lookfantastic.com, Made
in Sheffield, Marks & Spencer, Mothercare, Next, Otto UK (Freemans, Grattan,
Kaleidoscope), PetPlanet.co.uk, Pixmania, Prezzybox.com, QED-UK, QVC, R C Roland,
Redcats UK, Shoe-Shop.com, Shop Direct Group, Skinstore.com, Tesco.com Wine, Tesco
Electrical, The Sunday Times Wine Club, TUI UK, United Co-op, Vertbaudet, Waitrose,
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