• 26% surge in November sales is the highest of the year
  • Online retailers defy the recession as sales grow by 16% year on year
  • Shoppers splurge on clothing, footwear and accessories as they prepare for the
    festive season

Figures released from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index today show that growth in online spending for November surged 26% on October.
Despite difficult conditions, growth was up 16% on last year. Shoppers appear
to be attempting to beat the recession in the run up to Christmas by heading online,
with online retailers continuing to fare better than their high street equivalents.

Growth across the sectors

In November, for the first time this year, every sector tracked by the index
saw positive monthly and yearly growth.

In particular, sales of shoes and accessories grew ahead of the Christmas party
season, by 32% and 108% respectively. But the growth in sales of clothes (18%)
failed to match this, demonstrating that shoppers may be updating old looks in
favour of splashing out on a new wardrobe.

Consumers matched their online spending on party wear with alcohol purchases.
Sales of beers, wines and spirits saw a strong monthly growth of 53%, as consumers
prepared to get in to the festive party season.


Monthly change in IMRG Capgemini Index

Total Market








Electrical sector


Beers, Wines and Sprits





Mike Petevinos, Head of Consulting for Retail at Capgemini UK, said:       

“The Christmas spirit is with us, but it seems clear that shoppers are being
more considered than ever in making their generosity fit their budgets. The current
climate is causing consumers to turn to the internet to help them make more informed
value decisions and purchases.”

IMRG’s CEO, James Roper, commented: 

“While we would naturally expect to see a monthly increase in online sales during
this time of the year, it is perhaps surprising that we are continuing to see
yearly growth during these otherwise difficult times for retailers. This is a
sure sign that high street retailers should look to diversify their activities
by fully embracing the online space, as their customers have. Further evidence
of this is seen within recent results from Hitwise, which found that many of the
fastest growing retailers online are familiar high street names. [1] We expect the online sales figure to be even higher next month as people do
their last minute Christmas shopping.”

Paul Frantz, Industry Head-Retail Google UK, added:

“For e-commerce marketers, keeping pace with the demands and interests of their
customers presents a real opportunity to develop their competitive edge and invest
in long term growth and profits in the most cost- effective way possible. The
downturn in the economy is the first in the digital age and it is far from clear
exactly how deep or lasting it will be. What is evident though, is that there
is no slowdown in consumers’ adoption of e-commerce. The UK is Europe’s largest
online market with residents already averaging 33 hours per month online. Search
behaviour has also been impacted, with the search term “discount vouchers”, for
instance, rising 94% in the last 30 days according to Google Insights .Online
technology now offers a clear and unambiguous measurement of every pound, dollar
or euro spent online. Businesses looking to react fast to current search trends
or convert website visitors into buyers have powerful free tools at their finger
tips like Google Analytics, Website Optimiser and Insights for Search.”

Quotes from retailers

Christian Robinson, Managing Director of Firebox.com said:

“Sales at Firebox in November were in line with expectations – due to the current
economic climate, more and more shoppers are looking online as this is where they
can find what they want more easily than the High Street and at the most competitive
price. This month we have continued to see a shift in consumer product choice,
highlighting the trend for people staying in, entertaining friends and thus investing
in DIY and home entertainment products. For example, the USB Negative Scanner
and the Giant Cup Cake Tin were big sellers for us in November.”  

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.  The Index has been re-based to
reflect the size of the market.

Around seventy e-retailers regularly contribute data to the IMRG Capgemini Index,
including Airport Parking & Hotels Ltd, Adili.com, Arcadia Group, ASOS.com,
BeCheeky.com, Berry Bros. & Rudd, Blacks, Boden.co.uk, Boots Direct, Brora,
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, First Choice, Furniture123, Gadgets.co.uk, Game.net, Gameplay.com,
GreatValueJewellery.com, Greenfingers.com, Interflora, I Want One of Those, JD
Sports, J D Williams, Jason Shankey, John Lewis Partnership, La Redoute, lastminute.com,
Lighting-Direct, Lookfantastic.com, M and M Direct, Made in Sheffield, Marks &
Spencer, Millets, New Look, Next, Otto UK (Freemans, Grattan, Kaleidoscope), PetPlanet.co.uk,
Pixmania, Prezzybox.com, QED-UK, QVC, R C Roland, Redcats UK, Richer Sounds, Shoe-Shop.com,
Shop Direct Home Shopping, Schuh, Serenata Flowers, Skinstore.com, Tesco.com Wine,
Tesco Electrical, The Fragrance Shop, The Jewellery Channel, The Sunday Times
Wine Club, TUI UK, Turton Wines, Vertbaudet, Virgin Vie at Home, Waitrose, Wilkinson

Capgemini Press contact:

Tom Barton

Capgemini UK plc

Tel.:+44 (0)870 238 2491

Email:  tom.barton@capgemini.co.uk