• Online shoe sales surge 17% ahead of Sex and the City premiere
  • FA Cup and Euro 2008 disappointment hits electrical and alcohol sales
  • Month-on-month growth slows by 1.6% in line with seasonal variation

Online spending in May rose to over £4.5 billion according to figures released
today by Capgemini and IMRG in their monthly IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.  Online spending in May was robust, despite a small seasonal decline in the
rate of growth, seeing £4.5 billion spent online – an increase of 1.6% on April.
 An equivalent of £731 was spent online for every person in the UK in May – a year-on-year increase
of 30%.

Summer wardrobes

Growth in May was confined to the online clothing, footwear and accessories sector
which rose 4% on the strength of summer clothing sales.  Elsewhere, sales fell
by 10% in the electrical sector and UK shoppers also cut back their online spending
on alcohol by 11%. 

Sex and the City

In addition, shoppers updated their wardrobes in light of the recent warmer weather
in the UK and a surge in online footwear sales of 17% is attributed to the May
premiere of the Sex and the City movie.

IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index

Anthoula Madden, Vice President at Capgemini UK’s Consumer Products and Retail
Team said:       

“Although online sales across the board are more robust than on the high street,
falling property prices and persistent news of a credit crunch are causing UK
shoppers to become more careful with their disposable income.

The premiere of Sex and the City provided an excellent platform for e-retailers
to capitalise on consumer spending, but elsewhere the lack of any of the big four
clubs in the FA Cup final and the absence of a home team in Euro 2008 seems to
have hit hopes of the sales of large screen TVs and alcohol.

The pressure that the current economic climate is placing on retailers is a reminder
that e- retailers must become ever more innovative in attracting new customers
by providing a truly integrated multi-channel offering to maintain existing customers.”

Jo Evans, MD of IMRG, commented:

“Increasingly when you talk to people, internet shopping is just their normal
way of doing things and buying stuff.  Shopping search is now so good that it
reliably finds everything that’s out there and available to buy – whatever they
are looking for they can find – which is more than can be said for the hit and
miss experience of trying to find stuff in a physical store. Millions of us just
never think of going out to see what might or might not be in the shops anymore,
and for many young people, they wouldn’t even know how to – to them it’s the high
street that is the alien shopping environment, the internet is all they know.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

About 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 – the Collaborative
Business Experience – and through a global delivery model called Rightshore®,
which aims to offer the right resources in the right location at competitive cost.
Present in 36 countries, Capgemini reported 2007 global revenues of EUR 8.7 billion
and employs over 83,000 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;

247 Electrical, Airport Parking & Hotels Ltd, Ancestral Collections, Arcadia
Group, ASOS.com, BeCheeky.com, Berry Bros. & Rudd, Boden.co.uk, Boots Direct,
Buyagift.com, Carphone Warehouse, Charles Tyrwhitt, Cloggs, Comet, Co-operative
Travel, 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, Lighting-Direct, Lookfantastic.com, Made in
Sheffield, Marks & Spencer, New Look, 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 Home Shopping, Schuh, Skinstore.com, Tesco.com Wine,
Tesco Electrical, The Jewellery Channel, The Sunday Times Wine Club, TUI UK, United
Co-op, Vertbaudet, Waitrose,  Wilkinson Hardware

Quotes from retailers:

Bruce Fair, MD of Kelkoo.co.uk said of the latest findings:

“Lots of people expected a fall in large television sales as a result of Euro
2008, which has materialised.  We’ve also seen the price of large TVs decrease
by around 40% over the last 12 months, with savings of well over £250 on a typical
LCD TV2.  Online fashion and clothing sales have been steadily rising for some time
as people try things on at the weekend and buy online during the week. It is also
testament to the improved levels of service that web shops are offering and the
fact that major fashion retailers are investing in their online properties.”

2Philips 32 PFL 5522 (32’ LCD TV)

David Walmsley, Head of Web Selling, John Lewis Direct said:

“Trading continues to be challenging but Johnlewis.com saw good sales on electricals
and consumer electronics through May, with new lines such as John Lewis’ own-brand
“Collection” large kitchen appliances continuing to appeal to our customers.”

Jason Shankey, Managing Director of JasonShankey.co.uk said:

“We’re continuing to see the effect of the economic slowdown on the sales of
luxury hair and skincare products. Whilst we haven’t seen much of a downturn in
the sale of smaller items, the sales of luxury items costing £100 upward have
been severely impacted. It’s evident that customers have been tightening their
belts and choosing to purchase only items that they need, as opposed to items
that they want.”

Anna Bacon, Head of Marketing at Lookfantastic.com said:

“Since launching our new site in November 2007 we have seen a marked increase
in year-on-year sales each month. Despite the current climate, we have not seen
a decline in sales.”

Alison Lancaster, Marketing Director at Charles Tyrwhitt commented:

“We are delighted our web sales continue to show positive double-digit like-for-like
growth in today’s challenging market. For the month of May 2008, web sales at
ctshirts.co.uk grew by 10.8% against the same period last year across our 3 key
markets – UK, USA and Germany.”