Figures released from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index today show that online spending rose in July to reach a total market value of
over £4.8 billion – the equivalent of £79 for every person in the UK. The Index
shows that shoppers continued to spend online despite pressures on disposable
income with sales rising 11.3% on June. Online retail growth draws a sharp comparison
to BRC figures which showed that retail sales for July were 0.9% down on July
last year.

Seasonal variations

A wet July did not appear to curb UK shoppers as they turned to the internet
to continue their spending. The rain however did appear to dampen barbeque related
alcohol sales, typically high for July, which saw slower year on year growth.
Instead, shoppers turned their thoughts to holiday plans and summer wardrobes
which saw online sales in the clothing, footwear and accessories sector grow by
22.8% for July.

Sector splits

July saw growth across all sectors apart from the volatile and highly seasonal
gifts sector which experienced a decline in sales. The electrical sector, which
has seen a tough trading year so far, experienced its highest growth in 2008 –
likely boosted by demand for the new Apple iPhone 3G and flat screen televisions
ahead of the Olympics.

 

Mike Petevinos, Head of Consulting for Retail at Capgemini UK, said: “Gloomy market conditions have not dampened consumers’ appetite for shopping online.
Online sales continue to show strong growth, particularly when compared to the
tough trading conditions on the high street. The increase in clothing/footwear
sales demonstrates consumers’ ever increasing familiarity with e-retailing, extending
their shopping behaviour into more and more categories.  Even the electrical sector, which is highly susceptible to falling consumer
confidence, is seeing good growth driven by the increased choice, price transparency
and convenience that online has to offer.

Jo Evans, MD of IMRG commented: “This month’s Index results show that there is still confidence in purchasing
products and services online despite the current economic conditions. Online retailers
are taking full advantage of the present situation by making exceptional offers
on their websites, with online sales now in full swing and UK shoppers using the
web to search out those bargains, compare prices and ensure they get the best
deals.

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 86,000 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.

Around sixty 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, Damart, Daxon, Debenhams, e flowersUK.co.uk, EmpireDirect,
Figleaves.com, Firebox, Furniture123, Game.net, GreatValueJewellery.com, Greenfingers.com,
Interflora, J D Williams, Jason Shankey, John Lewis Partnership, 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 Fragrance
Shop, The Jewellery Channel, The Sunday Times Wine Club, TUI UK, United Co-op,
Vertbaudet, Waitrose and  Wilkinson Hardware.

Quotes from retailers:

David Walmsley, Head of Web Selling of JohnLewis.com, said:

Johnlewis.com saw strong performance in July despite the tough trading conditions.
We sell a very broad range of products online and saw particularly positive sales
in televisions and home electricals, as well as our children’s ranges. Our express
2-day delivery service on a range of large electricals has proven especially popular
with customers seeking fast replacement washing machines and fridges.

Stephanie Curry, Operations Director for Shoe-Shop.com, said:

Despite the doom and gloom on the high st and a summer which has killed sandal
sales, our web sales are still growing at over 30% year on year. The internet
is becoming ever more important as a location to find quality products not available
in every town.

Alison Wade, Head of Marketing at Buyagift, said:

Buyagift had a sensational month for theme park sales, with turnover figures
a whopping 128% up on 2007’s. Also, encouragingly our overall sales and turnover
figures were well up on last years’ and

Buyagift are still on target to vastly exceed yearly projections.

Zak Edwards, Managing Director for PrezzyBox, said:

Although growth slowed a little in July, it was still around the 15% mark year
on year, which was encouraging during all of the media hype about the credit crunch
and recession.